Breathing in air containing toxic elements or pollutants is bad for you, and you may feel much better when you take those toxins away. This is what Los Angeles did!
A new study published in JAMA has found that childhood asthma cases have dramatically dropped after LA cleaned up its air. Earlier, it was found that children in LA had an increased risk of developing asthma due to the city’s polluted air caused by car exhaust.
The research suggested that smog levels in LA had a direct connection with the growing number of cases of childhood asthma.
Analyzing the data gathered from 1993 to 2014, researchers found that improved air quality levels have been the reason for a decrease in the number of asthma cases.
LA has seen a significant improvement in its air quality from the early 1990s to the early 2010s. Although it is still not that great, the researchers estimate a 20 percent decrease in harmful pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (emitted from cars). Surprisingly, this is also almost the same percentage of reduction in the number of new cases of asthma in children in LA.
However, it is important to note that not every community in the city experienced the same percentage of improvement in air quality.
The researchers were able to found that there have been remarkable changes in asthma rates with improvements in air quality, making one thing abundantly clear that air pollution is one of the major causative factors of respiratory issues in children. Professor of Environmental Health at UC San Francisco John Balmes said, “There’s been a concerted effort in California over the period of this study to reduce motor vehicle emissions in general and diesel emissions in particular. And I think this study shows that it’s paying off.”