A new study done by researchers at the University of British Columbia found that when babies are exposed to outdoor air pollution in the first year of their life, it can increase their risk of developing allergies. This could be allergies to food, mould, pets or pests.
The study was published in the journal 'Environmental Health Perspectives' and said that the sensitivity to allergens was linked with exposure to traffic-related air pollution during the first year of a baby's life.
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According to Michael Brauer, senior author and professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada, "This is the first study to find a link between air pollution and measured allergic sensitization during the first year. The study also found that children who live with furry pets and no attached garage were more likely to have no sensitivity to allergens."
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Hind Sbihi, author of the study and doctoral candidate at the UBC noted, "Understanding which environmental exposures in early life affect the development of allergies can help tailor preventative measures for children. We also found that children who attended daycare or those with older siblings in the household were less likely to develop allergic sensitization, suggesting that exposure to other children can be protective."
Researchers collected and analysed data from more than 3500 families and their infants in Canada. They were tested for sensitivity to ten allergens, including cat, dog, dust mites, cockroach, fungus, milk, egg, soy and peanut. And closely monitored to determine how genetic and environmental factors can result in allergies.
They discovered that infants are at a higher risk of developing allergies. And that there is no link between pregnant mother's being exposed to pollution and the risk of their children getting allergies.
With inputs from IANS