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Exposure to both traffic, indoor pollutants puts some kids at higher risk for asthma later
Date:11/23/2009

CINCINNATINew research presents strong evidence that the "synergistic" effect of early-life exposure to both outdoor traffic-related pollution and indoor endotoxin causes more harm to developing lungs than one or the other exposure alone.

Environmental health scientists at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine have shown that children exposed to both high levels of traffic-related particles and indoor endotoxin during early life are six times more likely to experience persistent wheezing than children exposed to low levels of traffic and indoor-related pollutants.

They report their findings in the Dec. 1, 2009, edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. This is believed to be the first study to look at the combined effects of traffic-related exposures and sampled endotoxin in children during infancy as an indicator of asthma later in life. Endotoxin, a component of bacteria thought to trigger an immune response in humans, was measured from dust samples collected prior to age 1.

Based on a long-term study of children deemed at high risk for allergies later in life, UC environmental health researchers have found that 36 percent of the children studied who were exposed to high levels of both traffic-related pollution and indoor endotoxin demonstrated persistent wheezing at age 3, an early warning sign of asthma and other pulmonary conditions. Only 11 percent of children exposed to low levels of both indoor and outdoor allergens experienced wheezing; 18 percent of children exposed to low levels of indoor endotoxin and high levels of traffic-related particles experienced persistent wheezing. Endotoxin exposure alone appeared to have little effect.

"There is a clear synergistic effect from co-exposure to traffic-related particles and endotoxin above and beyond what you would see with a single exposure that can be connected to persistent wheezing by age 3," explains Patrick
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Contact: Amanda Harper
amanda.harper@uc.edu
513-604-3308
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Source:Eurekalert

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