TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan ranked fourth worst for rate of children developing asthma from traffic pollution out of 194 countries, according to a study published in the prestigious journal The Lancet Planetary Health.
Taiwan reports 420 new cases each yer per 100,000 kids, following Kuwait (550 cases), United Arab Emirates (460 cases), and Canada (450 cases). Traffic-related air pollution is resulting in four million new cases of asthma each year, the study shows.
Alarmingly, the study appears to provide evidence supporting research that children breathing in toxic exhaust gases could suffer from stunted lung growth and are at a higher risk of getting asthma, said Dr. Samantha Walker of Asthma UK.
The Daily Mail reports that the number of childhood asthma cases is rising steadily from the 1950s, making the inflammatory illness the most common among children on a global scale. Previous research suggests nitrogen dioxide could be a major culprit, among various pollutants found in traffic air pollution, that causes people to become asthmatic.
The government of Taiwan recently backtracked on a plan to deal with the ever-severe issue of air pollution by phasing out old diesel vehicles, in the wake of protests over an amendment introduced in 2018 that mandated tougher emission standards, reported Central News Agency.