Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
Exposure to high levels of traffic-related air pollution is seemingly a direct cause of the type of DNA damage that is known as telomere shortening, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.

Air Quality

Traffic Air Pollution Directly Damages DNA In Children, Research Finds

Exposure to high levels of traffic-related air pollution is seemingly a direct cause of the type of DNA damage that is known as telomere shortening, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.

Exposure to high levels of traffic-related air pollution is seemingly a direct cause of the type of DNA damage that is known as telomere shortening, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.

Notably, young people with asthma also show evidence of telomere shortening, according to the researchers, meaning that: “Our results suggest that telomere length may have potential for use as a biomarker of DNA damage due to environmental exposures and/or chronic inflammation.”

The research was focused around 14 children and adolescents residing in the second-most-polluted city in the US — that is to say, in Fresno, California.

The press release provides details: “The researchers assessed the relationship between polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a ‘ubiquitous’ air pollutant caused by motor vehicle exhaust; and shortening of telomeres, a type of DNA damage typically associated with aging.

“As the exposure to PAHs increased, telomere length decreased in linear fashion. Children and teens with asthma were exposed to higher PAH levels than those without asthma. The relationship between PAH level and telomere shortening remained significant after adjustment for asthma and other factors (age, sex, and race/ethnicity) related to telomere length.

“The study adds to previous evidence that air pollution causes oxidative stress, which can damage lipids, proteins, and DNA. Research has suggested that children may have different telomere shortening regulation than adults, which might make them more vulnerable to the damaging effects of air pollution.”

John R Balmes, MD, of UC–Berkeley, and other report authors summarized: “Greater knowledge of the impact of air pollution at the molecular level is necessary to design effective interventions and policies.”

Well, perhaps. But at this point it’s not actually news to anyone who doesn’t have their hands over their ears that the world’s growing air pollution problems are having a very negative effect on human health. So, it’s more a matter of political will at this point than of evidence.

The new findings are detailed in a paper published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Air Quality

With the work-from-home trend’s emergence; lockdowns and closures of various typical gathering spaces like cinemas, restaurants, cafes, and shopping centers; most of us are...

Air Quality

Originally published on RMI.org. By Brady Seals & Leah Louis-Prescott Burning gas, wood, and biomass in buildings now has more negative health effects than burning coal in many...

Air Quality

Formosa Plastics Group is planning to build a $9.4 billion manufacturing complex right in the middle of a Black community here in Louisiana. Although...

Air Quality

Originally published on Transport & Environment. By Sam Hargreaves Future deaths like that of schoolgirl Ella Adoo Kissi Debrah are preventable, says the coroner’s report...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.