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Traffic exposure & lung function in asthmatics

This is Science Today. There has been a lot of research focusing on the effects of climate change on the environment, but scientists are also looking into its effects on human health. Dr. John Balmes of the University of California, San Francisco, is involved in a study looking into traffic exposure and lung function in adult asthmatics.

Balmes:           I expected to see lower lung function in people that live near major roadways, like a freeway. But what we found - and this was surprising, is that just living close to any road lowered lung function. That study result makes me think that we really have to get away from diesel vehicles as much as possible, or figure out a way to make diesel vehicles really clean, which I think is doable.

Narrator:       While some say exposure to indoor allergens may be a major factor in the rise of asthma, Balmes suggests the link to traffic-related pollution is an important one.

Balmes:           Maybe we're controlling the wrong things or not controlling everything we need to when it comes to traffic.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.