Pollution: London’s low emission zone has improved air quality but not children’s lungs, study findsBMJ 2018; 363 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k4822 (Published 14 November 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4822
- Susan Mayor
Introducing a low emission zone in London has improved air quality by modestly reducing nitrogen oxides in highly polluted areas but is not associated with improvements in children’s respiratory health or lung function, an observational study has found.1
Results published in the Lancet Public Health showed that continued exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) equated to an average decrease in children’s lung capacity of around 5% in the five years after the zone was implemented, and this was inversely correlated with higher exposure to air pollutants.
“Although changes of this magnitude are unlikely to cause problems in healthy children, we urgently need to know whether these lung deficits will impact lung function and health in later life,” said …