“Studies on children demonstrate that nitrogen dioxide levels of over 20 µg/m³ in the outside air lead to more hospital stays due to severe lower respiratory tract infections, which cause secondary diseases of the lungs and airways”, wrote the chairman of the Association of Paediatric Allergology and Environmental Medicine (Gesellschaft für Pädiatrische Allergologie und Umweltmedizin e.V. – GPA) at the end of January 2019. Furthermore, air pollution increases the risk of asthma in children.
The paediatric allergologists of GPA are not only calling for strict compliance with the legally binding EU limit values for fine particulates and nitrogen dioxide; they also want “further studies to investigate whether and how these limit values should be lowered even more in the coming years.”
These paediatric allergologists are taking a clearly different position from their colleagues at another professional association, the German Respiratory Society (DGP), whose former president published a paper together with 112 colleagues at the end of 2018 on the health risks of environmental air pollution. The paper questions whether the maximum values for fine particulates and nitrogen compounds are based on solid scientific evidence.