Researchers at George Washington University estimate that up to 33 million asthma-related emergency room visits are caused by exposure to ozone or fine particulate matter. While it has long been recognized that breathing in polluted air can trigger asthma attacks, this study is the first to quantify the effects of air pollution on asthma cases worldwide.
Study lead author Dr. Susan K. Anenberg is Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the GW Milken Institute's School of Public Health.
“Millions of people around the world have to go to emergency rooms every year for asthma attacks because they breathe dirty air,” said Dr. Anenberg. “Our results show that air purification policies can reduce the Global Burden of Asthma and improve respiratory health worldwide.”
Asthma, which affects about 358 million people, is the most common chronic respiratory disease in the world. New research shows that car emissions and other types of air pollution seriously increase the incidence of severe asthma attacks.