Exposure to significant amounts of smog has stunted children’s lung growth, according to a 2000 study that monitored levels of major pollutants in a dozen Southern California communities between 1993 and 2000, while carefully following the respiratory health of more than 3,000 students. The air pollution effects were most evident in the children followed from ages 10 to 14. On average, over the four years, the lung function growth rate of children in the most polluted community was about 10 percent lower than that of children in the least polluted community. Children with decreased lung function may be more susceptible to respiratory disease and may be more likely to have chronic respiratory problems as adults.
Smog has caused higher rates of asthma in children in many cities. This has mad asthma an environmental justice issue because children in impoverished neighborhoods are more likely to have asthma because there is more pollution in these areas.
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