Friday, May 2, 2008
Need another reason to conserve or plant more tree's ? How about the health of your kids. A new Columbia University study suggests that children living on tree lined streets have lower rates of asthma. The researchers found that asthma in kids aged four or five fell by 25% for every 343 trees per square kilometer.
Some experts believe that children who are exposed to fewer microbes in early life are at an increased risk of asthma because their immune systems do not get the practice they need at fighting infection.Therefore, if a tree-lined street encourages outside play, it might help reduce the risk of asthma by maximizing the odds that children will be exposed to microbes. However, trees are also a source of pollen, which may potentially exacerbate asthma symptoms in vulnerable children. Lead researcher Dr Gina Lovasi admitted the effect of trees was far from clear.
She said: "There may be something else healthful about the areas that had more trees. For example, trees could be more abundant in areas that are well maintained in other ways."
Good news for New Yorkers reading this news, as the city intends to a whopping one million extra trees in the next decade. Whereas it may remain unclear on why exactly the trees are good for preventing asthma, we are happy to add it as another potential benefit to greening our world.