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Study: Kids living near heavy traffic getting asthma

PHOENIX -- University of Southern California doctors said one in 10 children get asthma because they live near busy city streets and freeways.

The study focused on the effect of pollution on children in the Los Angeles area but found metro areas with large numbers of kids living near heavy traffic are also at risk because of pollution from cars, buses, etc.

The results don't surprise Dr. Kelvin Panesar, director of pediatric pulmonology for Banner Health. He said he's seeing more younger patients with asthma.

"Whether that's traffic and particulate matter from pollution or exposure to dust you'll be more likely to develop asthma symptoms. Inner city with high traffic you don't have a lot of fresh air to breathe," Panesar said.

As far as protecting children from the harmful effects of pollution he said keep the kids indoors during the warmest times of the day and to spend outdoor time early in the morning and late afternoon.

Arizona Asthma Coalition said 8 percent of all of the state's schoolchildren have asthma.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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