Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Pollution exposure is higher in city kids who are active, finds study

Public Release: 26-Oct-2016
Pollution exposure is higher in city kids who are active, finds study
Increased exposure to pollutants may offset health benefits of regular exercise
Columbia University Medical Center

Children from urban areas of New York City who engaged in vigorous daily exercise had greater exposure to black carbon, a traffic-related pollutant, than children who were less active, according to a study by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from Columbia University's College of Physicians & Surgeons and Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health.

The researchers also found that while physically active children had reduced airway inflammation compared to less active children, this association that was offset by having high black carbon exposure.

Findings from the study were published recently online in the journal Environmental Research.

Black carbon, a pollutant that is also an indicator of diesel exhaust exposure, is known to have an adverse impact on health. However, little research has examined whether children living in urban areas receive a higher dose of the pollutant when they engage in regular physical activity.


The study revealed that the active children were exposed to 25 percent greater concentration of black carbon compared to non-active children. Daily physical activity was associated with reduced airway inflammation, but that effect primarily occurred among the children who were exposed to lower concentrations of black carbon. Exercise had no effect on airway inflammation among children exposed to the highest concentrations of black carbon.


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