Kids! – You don’t have to be ajogger tosuffer from highway pollution. New evidence blamestraffic-related pollution for increasing the risk of allergyamong children by more than 50%, and the closer the childrenlive to roads, the higher their risk. And it?s not justwhere kids live, it’s where they go SCHOOL. Almost a thirdof US schools are inside an air pollution “danger zone”because they’re located near major highways.

Researcher Joachim Heinrich says, “[Children] living veryclose to a major road are likely to be exposed not only to ahigher amount of traffic-derived particles and gases butalso to a more freshly emitted aerosols which may be moretoxic.” His study, done in Germany, calculated the distanceof children?s homes from major roads at birth and at two,three and six years of age and compared this with thechildren?s rates of allergies. Heinrich says, “Weconsistently found strong associations between the distanceto the nearest main road and the allergic disease outcomes.Children living closer than [160 feet] to a busy street hadthe highest probability of getting allergic symptoms,compared to children living further away.”

In, Andrea Thompson quotes researcher SergeyGrinshpun as saying, “This is a major public health concernthat should be given serious consideration in future urbandevelopment, transportation planning and environmentalpolicies.” In the meantime, “existing schools should beretrofitted with air filtration systems that will reducestudents’ exposure to traffic pollutants.”

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