U.S. researchers say they have found an association between increasing levels of indoor air pollution and the severity of asthma symptoms among children.
The researchers tracked 150 asthmatic children in Baltimore ages 2 to 6 for six months. Environmental monitoring equipment was used to measure the air in the child's bedroom for over three three-day intervals. Air measurements were taken at the beginning of the study, after 3 months and again after 6 months.
Ninety-one percent of the children who participated in the study were African-American, from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, and spent most of their time indoors.
"We found that substantial increases in asthma symptoms were associated both with higher indoor concentrations of fine particles and with higher indoor concentrations of coarse particles," lead author Dr. Meredith C. McCormack said in a statement.
Particulate matter is an airborne mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets. The solid particles come in numerous shapes and sizes and may be composed of different chemical components. Fine particles measure 2.5 microns or less in size -- approximately 1/30th the diameter of a human hair -- and can penetrate deep into the body's respiratory system, the study said.
The findings are published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
Date: Feb 23, 2009 URL: www.upi.com
Copyright 2009 by United Press International