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Is air pollution causing asthma?

New research suggests that the rise in childhood asthma cases could be down to air pollution levels.

Hundreds of thousands of children between the ages of 1 and 14 are believed to fall ill each year due to breathing in pollutants.

A study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health looked at 63,442,419 cases of childhood asthma across Europe. Comparing asthma incident rates with estimations of levels of exposure to pollutants, they found that up to one third of new childhood asthma cases could be attributed to air pollution levels.

Using the World Health Organisation’s PM2.5 limit, 11.4% of childhood cases could be avoided. Around 1.1 million children in the UK suffer from asthma, of which 10,000 could be prevented through air quality management.

Traffic pollution can cause a range of serious health complications, including damaged airways, inflammation and the development of asthma.

Asthma attacks in England and Wales are at the highest they have been in the last decade and have increased by 33% over the past 10 years. More than 1,400 people died from asthma attacks in the last year according to charity Asthma UK. This is an 8% increase when compared to 2017.

The charity believes there is two main reasons for this: the lack of access to basic healthcare and the increase in air pollution levels. To combat these health issues, local authorities need to take action to monitor air quality levels and make changes.

What can Pinacl do?

Pinacl’s air quality sensors can measure and monitor the level of air pollutants such as PM2.5, PM10, CO, NO₂ and O₃ as well as temperature, pressure and humidity. The data that is gathered can be seen in real-time along with historical trend data on an online portal.

Gathering this data can provide local authorities with the information they need to take informed decisions on how to lower these levels.

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