Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

1,000 Asthmatic Children Need Hospital Treatment Thanks to London's Toxic Air

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

1,000 Asthmatic Children Need Hospital Treatment Thanks to London's Toxic Air

Article excerpt

Byline: Ross Lydall City Hall Editor

ABOUT 1,000 children with asthma were among 4,000 Londoners in three years requiring emergency hospital treatment after their breathing disorders were exacerbated by the capital's toxic air.

Researchers at King's College London and Imperial College London found that about 10 per cent of hospital admissions for children were linked to an adverse response to air pollution.

The study, commissioned by City Hall, was released today ahead of Monday's launch of the Mayor's ultra low emission zone (Ulez), which aims to reduce nitrogen oxide exhaust emissions by up to 45 per cent. Analysis of NHS admissions and air quality data estimated that, between January 2014 and December 2016, there were 965 admissions of children aged up to 14 and 634 for people aged 15-64 and 2,506 for pensioners with asthma or the smokingrelated chronic lung condition COPD. While there is an ongoing scientific debate about whether pollution causes asthma, it is accepted that it worsens pre-existing conditions. Hospital admissions for asthma could also be triggered by respiratory infections and adverse responses to allergens.

The biggest number of child asthma admissions was in Croydon, with 69 cases. Newham, which also lies outside the central London Ulez zone, was second with 59. Children are more sensitive to pollution than adults.

The research indicated "air pollution can have a marked impact on asthma admissions in children and adults" and said it was "likely" reductions in toxic air would reduce hospital admissions.

Lead author Dr Heather Walton, of King's College, said: "It has been known for some time that air pollution exacerbates asthma. These results highlight that reducing air pollution in London should provide important benefits for asthmatic and COPD patients."

Transport is responsible for about half of London's toxic air emissions. …

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