Study of 2,000 children shows that London air pollution is restricting lung development

Thursday 15 November 2018

New research co-funded by Asthma UK and published in the journal Lancet Public Health today (Thursday 15 November), shows that children exposed to air pollution in London have poor lung capacity, putting them at risk of lifelong breathing disorders. 

The study, led by Queen Mary University of London, King's College London and the University of Edinburgh, shows that while traffic pollution control measures have improved air quality in London, they still need significant strengthening to protect children's health.

Responding to the study, Dr Samantha walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK, said:

“It is disappointing that the Low Emission Zone in London has not helped to improve children’s lung capacity and shows that a piecemeal approach to reducing air pollution does not work. If children’s lungs don’t develop properly as a result of air pollution it can increase their likelihood of developing asthma, leaving them coughing, wheezing and at risk of a life-threatening asthma attack. The Government needs to tackle toxic air by putting in place a new Clean Air Act to keep everyone - especially children - safe.”

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