A study conducted by King’s College London scientists showed a link between an increase in blood pressure among teenagers and constant air pollution exposure.
The study focused on over 3,000 adolescents and the data collected indicated how tiny air pollution particles can affect teenagers’ health.
Tiny pollutants such as particulate matter or PM2.5 are produced by road transport, particularly exhaust fumes.
Since they are microscopic, PM2.5 can easily get into the lungs and travel to airways and blood vessels. They can affect organs and destroy vital systems. Anyone exposed to PM2.5 will suffer from adverse health risks.
Respondents of the study consisted of two age groups – 11 to 13 and 14 to 16 years old. They were all students from 51 different schools in London at the time of the research.
Details of the study showed that the link between air pollution and higher blood pressure in teenagers is more prevalent in girls who belong to ethnic minority groups. These are girls who reside in deprived areas or neighbourhoods.
Researchers also discovered that NO2 or nitrogen dioxide lowered respondents’ blood pressure levels. This does not prove, however, that NO2 is safer compared to PM2.5. Both pollutants can cause life-changing impacts.
Additionally, Dr. Andrew Webb, the study’s co-author, attributes the decrease to NO2. NO2 is essential in reducing blood pressure levels.
Senior author Professor Seeromanie Harding, on the other hand, looks at the study as a chance to monitor how adolescents are exposed to air pollution, particularly those who live in neighbourhoods with air pollution levels that are over the legal and recommended limits.
The professor also said that similar studies should be carried out so authorities can better understand all the opportunities and threats that affect teenagers’ development. Currently, there are over one mission adolescents below 18 years old who reside in highly polluted neighbourhoods.
An earlier study conducted in 2022 showed evidence of how NO2 can cause depression and fatigue.
The King’s College London study’s findings were published in the Plos One journal.
What are vehicle emissions and why are they illegal?
Although emissions generally pertain to any elements released into the atmosphere, they are commonly described as gases, such as factory and power plant or greenhouse gas emissions. Road transport or vehicle emissions are known as diesel emissions as they typically come from diesel vehicles.
Vehicle emissions are high-polluting. If a person is exposed to them, they can suffer from health impacts, such as asthma, lung function reduction, and respiratory illnesses.
Diesel emissions have been in the news for years because of the Dieselgate that initially involved the Volkswagen Group.
Nitrogen oxide or NOx emissions are emitted from diesel vehicles. They are dangerous and have adverse effects on both the environment and human health. They’re also responsible for the formation of smog and acid rain and produce a pollutant known as acid rain.
Anyone exposed to NOx emissions should know that they could experience episodes of depression, anxiety, and other mental health-related issues.
Exposure to nitrogen oxide emissions can cause health impacts, the most common of which are asthma, respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and emphysema, chronic lung function reduction, and pulmonary oedema.
Dementia can also set in when a person is exposed to NOx emissions. The exposure can cause cognitive abilities to weaken.
Serious health impacts include asphyxiation, spasms of the vocal cords, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and early death. Cases of premature deaths due to air pollution are reported annually, with the first such incident reported in the UK in 2013. Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah was in and out of the hospital for months when she had a serious asthma attack that ended her life. An inquest resulted in the coroner’s official announcement in December 2020 that Ella’s death was caused by air pollution.
All the health impacts and environmental problems that result from NOx emissions are major reasons why the Dieselgate scandal is considered the most controversial issue in the global automobile industry.
The Dieselgate or diesel emissions scandal first broke out in September 2015 after US authorities sent the Volkswagen Group a Notice of Violation. The carmaker allegedly fitted their VW and Audi vehicles with illegal defeat devices. Hundreds of thousands of affected vehicles were sold in the United States. Authorities ordered Volkswagen to recall all the affected vehicles and pay off the fines and fees.
A defeat device violates emissions regulations because it manipulates emissions tests. When it senses that the vehicle is in testing, it immediately reduces emissions to within the World Health Organization’s (WHO) legal limits. To emissions regulators, the vehicle appears good – environmentally friendly and emissions-compliant. However, this is only good during testing conditions.
Once the vehicle is out on real roads, it emits NOx at unlawful and unhealthy levels. As such, vehicles with defeat devices are dirty. They contribute to air pollution. Therefore, manufacturers lied to customers and mis-sold defeat device-affected vehicles. They should be held responsible for their deceit.
Authorities urge affected carmakers to file diesel emissions claims so they can bring your carmaker to court and receive compensation.
Starting my diesel claim
To start your diesel claim, you have to verify your eligibility to make one first. Go to ClaimExperts.co.uk to get all the information you need to start your claim.