Respiratory problems linked to freeway traffic

Even in an area with good regional air quality, air pollution from nearby traffic may pose a health risk, according to a recently completed study by scientists from Cal/EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) that shows a possible link between air pollution from nearby traffic and respiratory symptoms in children. The study, which involved air monitoring and a health survey of about 1,100 students at 10 Alameda County elementary schools located various distances from major roads, found moderately higher rates of asthma and bronchitis symptoms (such as wheezing and excessive phlegm) in children residing and attending school in neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic-related air pollution. Scientists from OEHHA and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory collaborated on the study, which was published in the September issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. In addition, a recent companion study by scientists at OEHHA and the state Department of Health Services found that about 150,000 California students (about 2.5 percent of students statewide) may be attending schools located close to roads with very high traffic levels (more than 50,000 vehicles/day). That study was published in Environmental Health Perspectives in January 2004. To view the press release on the recent study, visit:// Fact sheets for schools and parents are also available at // To view the abstract visit: //