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Exposures to metals and diesel emissions in air linked to respiratory symptoms in children
Date:11/23/2009

elsewhere."

"These findings increase our understanding of the effects of specific pollutants from heating oil combustion and traffic on respiratory health in very young children," said Molini M. Patel, PhD, MPH, lead author and previously a research scientist in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and a CCCEH investigator. "Our results are of concern especially because levels of nickel in our study area, Northern Manhattan and the South Bronx, are among the highest in New York City and in the U.S., as are the rates of pediatric asthma."

The investigators controlled for exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, sex, ethnicity, and seasonal trends, all of which have been linked to increased respiratory symptoms and asthma in other studies.

The study is part of a broader multi-year research project launched in 1998 by CCCEH that examines the health effects of exposure of pregnant women and their children to indoor and outdoor air pollutants, allergens, and chemicals.

The Center's prior research showed that exposure to multiple environmental pollutants may be associated with an increase in risk for asthma symptoms among children. The researchers suggest that improved regulatory action directed at specific pollution sourcessuch as reducing residential boiler emissions and traffic of airborne pollutants such as nickel or elemental carbonis needed to help protect young children living in urban areas. A prospective follow-up of this birth cohort and measurement of residential levels of metals and traffic-related particles will help determine whether exposures to these pollutants are associated with increased respiratory morbidity and development of asthma at later ages, according to the researchers.


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Contact: Stephanie Berger
sb2247@columbia.edu
212-305-4372
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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