A news headline from British Lung Foundation web www.lunguk.org
Research which shows asthma link to mothers exposed to pollution is very significant says BLF
Researchers have found that mothers who are exposed to air pollutants, such as those produced by traffic emissions, could lead to their children developing asthma.
A study of umbilical cords from 56 mothers found that those mothers who were exposed to pollutants were more likely to have damage to the gene ACSL3, which is associated with respiratory development, were also more likely to have children that developed asthma.
This is the first study of its kind which shows that pollution can influence and alter genes.
This potentially very important research shows that the genes of an unborn child may be altered by a mothers exposure to atmospheric pollutants and lead to chronic lung disease in the later in life said Dr Keith Prowse, vice-president of the British Lung Foundation.
The researchers found a link between a specific gene involved in lung development and the mothers exposure during pregnancy to polycyclic hydrocarbons from traffic pollution. This type of link could also be relevant to many other conditions and diseases. The identification of the gene means that it may be possible to identify at-risk individuals at birth, monitor them and treat the disease early.