Living near a busy road stunts lung growth in children and increases the risk of lung cancer, research has revealed, according to The Guardian.
The analysis by King’s College London is the first to examine a wide range of health conditions linked to living near areas of air pollution from traffic. It compared 13 different health conditions, including heart disease, stroke and bronchitis, across 13 cities in the UK and Poland.
The study reveals that living within 50 metres of a busy road may increase the risk of lung cancer by 10%, and stunt lung growth in children by 3–14%.
Examining different cities in the UK, the research suggests levels of roadside air pollution restrict lung growth in children by approximately 14% in Oxford, 13% in London, 8% in Birmingham, 5% in Bristol, 5% in Liverpool, 3% in Nottingham and 4% in Southampton.
One third of Londoners – about three million people – are estimated to live near a busy road.
The coalition of 15 health and environment NGOs who released the report, including ClientEarth and the British Lung Foundation, are calling for legal levels of particulate pollution to be reduced to World Health Organization limits by 2030.