Traffic-related air pollution linked to DNA damage in children, teenagers

Traffic-related air pollution linked to DNA damage in children, teenagers

High levels of air pollution related to traffic can cause a specific type of DNA damage called telomere shortening in children and adolescents, a study notes. Young people with asthma also have shorter telomeres, a type of DNA damage usually associated with aging, according to the study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. “Our findings suggest that the length of telomeres may have potential for their use as a biomarker of DNA damage due to environmental exposure and / or chronic inflammation,” said study by John Balmes University of California, Berkeley And its collaborators. “Telomers can also give new insights into how exposure to pollution causes adverse health effects,” the researchers said. The study included 14 children and adolescents living in Fresno, California, the second most polluted city in the United States. The researchers evaluated the relationship between polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a “ubiquitous” air pollutant caused by the exhaust system of motor vehicles; And the shortening of the telomeres.
As the PAH exposure increased, the telomere length decreased linearly. Children and adolescents with asthma were exposed to higher levels of PAH than those without asthma, according to the study. The study adds to the previous evidence that air pollution causes oxidative stress, which can damage lipids, proteins and DNA. Research has suggested that children may have different rates of telomere shortening than adults, which could make them more vulnerable to the adverse effects of air pollution

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