A new research study published in the European Respiratory Journal (January) reveals that exposure to high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) at birth increases the chances of children developing eczema and asthma in adolescence. The study, conducted by Canadian researchers, tracked 1,286 children from birth to age 18, and used the Ontario Registered Persons Database to identify participants’ air pollution exposures at birth by postal codes.
The study found that there was a 17 percent increase in risk of developing asthma and 8 percent for eczema for children exposed to higher levels of NO2 at the time of birth. In the cohort of 1,286 tested participants, 28.5 percent suffered asthma and 74.5 percent eczema. The researchers recommend improving air quality and “reducing air pollution exposure especially to O3 and NO2 to prevent asthma and other allergic diseases in childhood and adolescence”.