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Study Reveals Strong Link Between Higher Levels Of Pollution And Lung Health

Update Date: Sep 06, 2014 04:31 PM EDT

There exists a clear link between higher levels of exposure to air pollution and deteriorating lung health in adult European citizens, according to a new study. The study confirmed the previous findings that children growing up in areas with higher levels of pollution will have lower levels of lung function. 

The new study also identified that people suffering from obesity are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of air pollution. 

"The ESCAPE project has clearly confirmed that air quality largely differs across Europe. The findings of this project are crucial as they demonstrate that air pollution is having a negative effect, not only on children as previously demonstrated, but also into adulthood. Although the levels we see in Europe are much lower than in the so-called megacities in China and India, we are still seeing a deterioration of lung function in people exposed to higher levels of air pollution and this must be addressed," said senior author, Nicole Probst-Hensch and lead author Martin Adam, from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, in the press release.

"The findings of this study demonstrate the importance of educating about clean air and the negative effects of air pollution. Urgent action is needed to tackle air pollution in Europe. It is crucial that policymakers in Europe take note of these findings and update guidelines in Member States to meet the WHO recommended air quality standards. This will ensure equal protection of all citizens' health across the continent," commented  Professor Peter Barnes, President of the ERS on the findings of the study. 

The analysis has been published in the European Respiratory Journal. 

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