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Pollution Retards Lung Development in Kids

Breathing Polluted Air Linked to Reduced Lung Function in Children

'Important Opportunity'

The researchers will continue to follow the study participants into their 20s, in part to determine if those who move to less polluted areas experience improvements in lung function.

In an editorial accompanying the study, environmental epidemiologist C. Arden Pope III, PhD, noted that the findings could be considered good news because they prove that controlling air pollution "represents an important opportunity to prevent disease."

He wrote that while improvements in air quality have been made in the U.S., pollution is still a major problem in many areas of the world.

"The good news is that here in the U.S. we have made some real progress, and the literature suggests that continued improvements in air quality can result in continued improvements in cardiopulmonary health," Pope tells WebMD. "The bad news, of course, is that we still aren't where we want to be. And now it is clear that pollution-related health effects can occur even with low to moderate exposures."

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