Navigation Links
Wood Fires Can Harm the Youngest Lungs

Exposed infants more susceptible to bronchiolitis, study finds

FRIDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- That picturesque wood-burning stove ranks alongside auto traffic as a risk factor for bronchiolitis, the respiratory condition that is the leading cause of hospitalization in the first year of life, a new study finds.

"Those infants who had more exposure to wood-burning appliances were more likely to show up in doctors' offices or be hospitalized for bronchiolitis," said Dr. Catherine Karr, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington, and lead author of a report in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

There hasn't been much research done on the effects of air pollution on very young children, Karr said. Such studies have typically focused on older children, in whom asthma is a more prevalent problem related to air pollution.

Karr and Canadian researchers analyzed nearly 12,000 cases of infant bronchiolitis between 1999 and 2002 in the province of British Columbia, checking on exposure to air pollutants such as nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter. They also looked at the source of those pollutants.

Infants who lived within 50 meters -- about 55 yards -- of a highway had a 6 percent increased risk of bronchiolitis, while those with higher exposure to wood smoke had an 8 percent increased risk, compared to those with the lowest exposure.

"Bronchiolitis is the number one reason why a child ends up in a hospital in the first year of life," Karr explained. "It is responsible for 13 percent of those hospitalizations."

Bronchiolitis is a respiratory condition that starts out looking like a common cold but can become "quite severe," she said. It can be caused by viruses, and is often the first infection a child experiences early in life.

The study "lets families know about concerns about infant exposure to traffic and wood-burning appliances," Karr said. "If they can avoid those things, they should. If they do use wood-burning appliances, they should use safety practices, making sure the appliances are properly vented and burn efficiently."

The study included such pollution because "here in the Pacific Northwest, we have more exposure to wood-burning stoves than in other places," Karr said.

"This study extends some past findings that wood smoke can be very irritating to the respiratory system, and has been shown to have effects on the lungs of children," said George Thurston, director of the Particulate Matter Health Effects Research Center in New York.

"Wood smoke seems to have the biggest effects on respiratory health, whereas fossil fuels seem to have the biggest effects on cardiac health, because they are more laden with metals," Thurston said.

The Pacific Northwest is unusual because of a higher concentration of wood-burning appliances, he said. "In other areas, traffic may dominate more," Thurston noted.

More information

The basics of bronchiolitis are explained by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

SOURCES: Catherine Karr, M.D., assistant professor, pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle; George Thurston, Ph.D., professor, environmental medicine, New York University School of Medicine, and director, Particulate Matter Health Effects Research Center, Tuxedo Park, N.Y.; Nov. 15, 2009, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, online

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Firestorm Unveils Fast Start Pandemic ToolKit
2. Capital Gold Group Donates to American Red Cross Disaster Relief for Victims of Southern California Wildfires
3. Air Purifier Relief for California Wildfires Victims Suffering from Polluted Air
4. MTF, Largest Tissue Bank, Provides Skin for Victims of Santa Barbara Wildfires
5. Anthem Blue Cross to Support Members and Communities Impacted by Santa Barbara Fires
6. Prilosec OTC(R) Fires Up A BBQ Tour for NASCAR(R) Fans
7. FDA Fireside Chat @ The 8th Annual MedTech Investing Conference May 6-7, 2009
8. MTF, Largest Tissue Bank, Provides Skin for Victims of Australian Wildfires
9. Scientology Volunteer Ministers Provide Disaster Relief During Melbourne Fires
10. No Germs, No Fires, No Mess: New Product Makes Good Health Easy and Natural
11. Temporary Cease Fires Not Enough for Humanitarian Aid Groups Working in Gaza
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, ... aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and ... necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, ... at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health ... annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, ... at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his ... it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway ... call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting ... restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) in concert ... capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events and professional ... than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. The ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... , June 27, 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals ... waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of ... acquisition of Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: ... p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). As previously announced ... into a definitive merger agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Consumers have ... and regulators/payers have placed more emphasis on patient ... patient support programs in the pharmaceutical industry have ... medications. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are focusing on becoming ... are providing products and services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   ... Spaulding Rehabilitation Network,s Dean Center for Tick ... Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University ... for Innovation, today announced the five finalists of ... for Lyme disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: