News Brief

Elevated Childhood Asthma Risk Near Freeways

According to a study released by researchers at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, children living within 1,600 feet (500 m) of a freeway had the functioning of their small airways reduced by 7% at age 18 when compared with those who lived at least 4,900 feet (1,500 m) away from a freeway. This reduction might present problems later in life, when lung function begins to decline. The study was based on data gathered from more than 3,600 children from Southern California who were tested for lung function over 13 years. According to Jim Gauderman, Ph.D., lead author of the study, there is much pressure in the Los Angeles area to build schools and homes near freeways, and “it’s important to keep health in mind.”

Published March 6, 2007

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