A study plied by the International Study of Allergic and Asthma in Children (ISAAC) showed Filipino children experience one of the highest rates of allergic diseases in the region.
The study placed the Philippines on top of Asian countries, among them Thailand, Indonesia, and South Korea, with high prevalence rates of common allergies such as rhinitis and asthma.
This prompted the government to declare July 8 of every year as National Allergy Day to address the problem of allergies and increase public awareness on the growing occurrence of this disease especially among Filipino children.
Pollution triggers asthma and allergies
Pollution-caused allergies are evidenced in a study by the German Research Center for Environment and Health at the Institute of Epidemiology in Munich. Researchers looked at 2,900 children at age four and more than 3,000 at age six to determine their rates of doctor- diagnosed asthma and allergy with relation to long-term exposure to traffic related pollution.
Reporting the results in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Dr. Joachim Heinrich, research lead author, said: “[Children] living very close to a major road are likely to be Allergies hit Asians exposed not only to a higher amount of traffic-derived particles and gases but also to more freshly emitted aerosols which may be more toxic.”
“Our findings provide strong evidence for the adverse effects of traffic-related air pollutants on atopic diseases as well as on allergic sensitization. We consistently found strong associations between the distance to the nearest main road and the allergic disease outcomes. Children living closer than 50 meters to a busy street had the highest probability of getting allergic symptoms, compared to children living further away,” wrote Heinrich.