Soot Hurts Lungs Like Smoking


Soot from power plants, factories and oil refineries may harm children's lungs as much as smoking, says a new study on the effects of air pollution by researchers University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. They found that changes in air pollution exposure during adolescence has a "measurable and potentially important effect on lung function growth and performance."

The researchers studied 110 California children who had moved from communities participating in a study of respiratory health. They found that children who moved to communities with cleaner air showed improved growth in lung function. Those who moved to communities with dirtier air had reduced growth in lung function.

The research appears in the current issue of the "American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine," published by the American Thoracic Society. The researchers warn that reduced lung function during "teen years of (lung) development" could translate into respiratory problems later in life.

-- Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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