Pollution in School Causes Asthma

Pollution in School Causes Asthma

Children’s risk of asthma increases through common asthma causes such as a combination of being exposed to high levels of traffic-related air pollution at home as well as in kindergartens and schools.

The Keck School of Medicine at the University of California conducted a longitudinal study on respiratory health among children in 13 communities of Southern California. Researchers followed 2,497 children with no history of respiratory problems over three years. These children were tracked to see if they developed asthma in kindergarten or the first grade at school. The study showed that children that visit schools in high traffic areas have a 45% increased risk of developing asthma.

The Keck School suggests that it is important to consider children's overall exposure to air pollution. Rob McConnell, M.D., is the lead author of the study, and he writes that: "residential traffic-related pollution has been associated with asthma” but “there has been little study of the effects of traffic exposure at school on new-onset asthma…Exposure to pollution at locations other than home, especially where children spend a large portion of their day and may engage in physical activity, appears to influence asthma risk as well." Traffic-related air pollution can stem from cars, buses, planes, trains, as well as boats.

To learn more about how to protect your children from air pollution visit our School Air Filtration page.


McConnell R, Islam T, Shankardass K, Jerrett M, Lurmann F, Gilliland F, et al. 2010. Childhood Incident Asthma and Traffic-Related Air Pollution at Home and School. Environ Health Perspect :-. doi:10.1289/ehp.0901232

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