If you and your family including children and teens are living in an area, where the intensity of traffic-related air pollution is actually high; then pay heed! A new international study has claimed that chronic exposure to traffic-related air pollution can cause a particular type of DNA alteration in kids and teenagers.
A new international study, published in the ‘Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’ this week, has warned that long-term exposure to high levels of traffic-related air contamination may initiate a certain kind of DNA damage, which is medically termed as ‘telomere shortening’, especially in children and teenagers. ‘Telomere shortening’ has characteristically been connected to ageing and also asthma in young adults. It is also the primary cause of the age-related collapse of cells of the body. However, a new study, led by John Balmes of the University of California, Berkeley and his colleagues, has claimed that the length of the telomere can be served as a crucial biomarker for DNA damage among kids and adolescents if they remained exposed to environmental pollutants for a longer period.
As the lead author of the study highlighted, “Further studies and complete understanding of Telomeres is likely to provide us several more insights into the in-depth know-how of the manners through which pollution exposure causes adverse health outcomes. For the study, researchers examined a total of 14 children and adolescents, all belonging to Fresno, California which stands second among the most contaminated cities in the United States. The researchers thoroughly evaluated the relationship between Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), an ever-present air pollutant emitted by burning coals, trash, tobacco, and motor vehicle exhaust; and shortening of telomeres.
After analysing the samples, researchers concluded that if chronic exposure to PAHs amplified, then the length of the telomere went down in a linear fashion. Moreover, children and adolescents with asthma, if exposed to higher PAH levels can suffer from DNA damage easily. The study also took some of previous evidence which revealed that exposure to contaminated air can cause oxidative stress which eventually can smash up lipids, proteins, and the DNA into consideration and concluded that children who are experiencing different telomere shortening directive in contrast to the adults are more vulnerable to suffer from adverse effects of air pollution including the damaged DNA.