Traffic pollution can stunt lung development

Children who live near busy roads are more likely to suffer respiratory and heart problems later in life, U.S. researchers said on Friday.

They found that children who had lived within 500 metres of a motorway from the age of 10 had significantly less lung function by the time they reached 18 than youngsters exposed to less traffic pollution.

"Someone suffering a pollution-related deficit in lung function as a child will probably have less than healthy lungs all of his or her life," said James Gauderman, of the University of Southern California.

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photo by Dean Terry