Author Topic: New research confirms link between air pollution and children developing asthma  (Read 2076 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline trekbat

  • Opinions on most things
  • ****
  • Posts: 723
  • Thanked: 21 times
  • Forum Member

An article in The Sunday Times (27/11/2016 p17) announced that Leeds University researchers have found evidence of a long suspected link between traffic pollution and children developing asthma (the Air Quality indicates credit should also go to the Barcelona Institute for Global Health).

Traffic fumes give asthma to children
"The findings may explain Britain’s rising number of cases of childhood asthma. Up to 3,000 schools in England are in areas that breach EU and World Health Organisation air pollution limits. The researchers found that the pollutants attack the lining of children’s lungs, initiating…"

Study highlights traffic pollution link to asthma in children
"Children and adolescents exposed to high levels of traffic-related air pollution have a greater risk of developing asthma, according to a study by the University of Leeds and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal).

A study by the University of Leeds and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health has assessed the impact of traffic-related air pollution on children
The study, published in the journal Environment International last week claims that an estimated 334 million people suffer from asthma worldwide...

Results drew on findings from 41 pieces of research – published between 1999 and September 2016 – which included data from the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden, England, France, Italy, Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea. Data for over one million children was included in the meta-analyses."

In a sensible world that should automatically rule out 'unhealthy' options - like another rubbish collection and the Hoddesdon incinerator.


Offline Nobby

  • Opinions on many things
  • ***
  • Posts: 192
  • Thanked: 18 times
Most of our air quality laws are derived from Europe. No doubt there are many who would regard anti-pollution measures as an unwarranted infringement of UK sovereignty.

Offline trekbat

  • Opinions on most things
  • ****
  • Posts: 723
  • Thanked: 21 times
  • Forum Member

That's probably true of recent legislation (and the second part of your statement I'd say was definitely true).

1. However, sadly, the UK is no stranger to air pollution and has passed legislation long before we joined the EU:
early smoke control laws like the local acts of the 1840s; the Public Health Act of 1875, and the Public Health (Smoke Abatement) Act of 1926; also The 1956 Clean Air Act; The 1968 Clean Air Act: Tall Chimneys.

Some interesting info on the subject:

And legislation - irrespective of its origins - offers little or no protection unless enforced.

2. The proposed HCC-Veolia incinerator at New Barnfield and many other incinerators around Britain (and possibly elsewhere in Europe) are a direct but probably unintended consequence of EU legislation against landfill (which led to the escalator tax here which led to the stampede to build incinerators / CHPs as a solution). So instead of polluting a relatively small area we're now poisoning the atmosphere.

3. It's worth noting that post-Brexit referendum Britain has acted to ban harmful microplastics - the EU is still talking about it.

Microplastics in the sea a growing threat to human health, United Nations warns

4. It's worth noting that it wasn't the EU but the US authorities that finally blew the lid on cheat-software used by car manufacturers to falsify their vehicles' emissions data - despite there having been queries about differences between them and on-road test data.

On a somewhat separate note, I do not think the EU is ALL bad. In fact I think it is an essential step towards a fairer world. That said, in my opinion, the EU has seriously lost its way and turned into a monster, which has shown it is unable to reform itself, and is fatally flawed.

While it has been able to pass legislation on the environment and workers' rights in the past - that political landscape has changed - in no small part due to the impact of the EU.

Big businesses are all too aware of its influence and the lobbyists are hard at work. Now with a few 'tame'/ 'sympathetic' groups they can effectively block EU action for years.

The Greens and Labour movements had large numbers of MEPs so could influence legislation - now we are seeing the votes going to anti-EU, right-wing groups so - even with the Greens success in Austrian elections - it seems unlikely that they will have the same clout in a future EU.

Edited to add word 'proposed'