April 8, 2015 – Air Pollution and Lungs


Anchor lead: Reducing air pollution really does impact lungs, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Reductions in air pollution improved both lung growth and function, a large and lengthy study in the New England Journal of Medicine found.  Mike Klag, dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins, offers his opinion.

Klag: This is very strong evidence that reductions in nitrogen dioxide, PM10, and PM2.5 are associated with improvement in lung function, and then with an increase in lung growth, as measured by an increase in the air expelled both at 1 second and in total.  So this study showed incredibly robust findings.   :19

The findings are especially important internationally.

Klag: This provides strong evidence that improving air quality improves lung function and growth of lungs. When we started these initiatives for clean air we didn’t have this strong evidence, now we have it, this is critically important.  If you look around the world air pollution is increasing in severity, not getting better, so this is great evidence for policymakers to act.  :20

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.