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Allergy symptoms especially common among kids in Vancouver: study

Last Updated May 4, 2015 at 11:33 am PST

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Summary

UBC study finds air pollution plays role in whether kids develop sensitivities early in life

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s not unusual to see kids with stuffy noses or watery eyes this time of year, thanks to allergies.

A new study out of UBC finds air pollution plays a role in whether kids develop sensitivities, and more children are experiencing symptoms here in Vancouver than in three other Canadian cities.

But Dr. Michael Brauer isn’t sure we can totally rely on those numbers, saying they’ll likely have a better idea in about six years.

Researchers are tracking kids here, in Toronto, Winnipeg, and Edmonton throughout the first few years of the childrens’ lives.

“The exposure to traffic pollution during the first year of life but not during pregnancy, was linked to higher levels of developing allergic sensitization to common allergens that children would be exposed to,” says Brauer.

Those allergens are food, mould, pets, and pests.

“Kids who came from families who had pets as well as kids who had older siblings or who attended daycare — those factors seem to be protective, meaning that they had less likelihood of being allergic,” he adds.

That means kids may get some protection as their immune system develops if they are exposed to natural microbes.