Ozone at officially acceptable levels still affects asthmatic children.

Position:EH Update

Asthmatic children exposed to ozone at levels well below federal standards still suffer from environment-related respiratory symptoms, according to a new study.

The researchers monitored the symptoms and medication use of 271 asthmatic children living in Connecticut and Massachusetts, all younger than 12 years of age. The 140 children who had conditions classified as severe asthma, as defined by their daily use of prescription preventive medication, experienced a worsening of symptoms and an increased use of medication even on days with ozone levels that fell below limits set by federal standards.

The study, which was published in the October 2003 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, was conducted at the Yale University School of Medicine.

According to lead investigator Janneane Gent, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, the purpose of the study was to see what sorts of effects would be found in places where air quality is within limits set by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) standards.

By U.S. EPA standards, the air quality of a particular day is labeled "good" when ozone...

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