A STUDY investigating the link between severe breathing conditions in babies and traffic pollution is being carried out in Sheffield.
The Children’s Hospital will study bronchiolitis, the inflammation of air passages in the lungs, which affects hundreds of babies each winter.
Medics believe bronchiolitis may be caused by nitric oxide in car fumes.
A two-year study will compare traffic pollution and nitric oxide levels with rates of hospitalisation.
Professor Mark Everard said: “These epidemics place strain on the hospital with many hundreds of babies being admitted each winter.
“There is no vaccine and no effective treatment other than good supportive care including oxygen therapy.”
Professor Everard said that hospitalisation rates were at their highest in industrialised areas, which suggests bronchiolitis is related to nitric oxide found in traffic and industry fumes as well as cigarette smoke.
As part of the study, patient and laboratory studies will be carried out to monitor the interaction between the virus and cells.