News / Health

Children in Coal-Heated Houses are Shorter

Study finds effect is similar to breathing second-hand tobacco smoke

Researchers found children who grew up in coal-heated houses were about 1.3 centimeters shorter than those who lived in houses heated with other fuels.
Researchers found children who grew up in coal-heated houses were about 1.3 centimeters shorter than those who lived in houses heated with other fuels.
Art Chimes

Children who grow up in homes where coal is burned for heat are more likely to be shorter than kids whose houses are heated by other fuels, according to a new study. And previous research has found that shorter children are more likely to grow up with health problems.

The study included about 1,000 children in the Czech Republic. Czech and American researchers used medical records and questionnaires filled out by mothers to find out that, by age 3, children who grew up in coal-heated houses were about 1.3 centimeters shorter than those who lived in houses heated with other fuels.

Researcher Irva Hertz-Picciotto says that indicates that breathing the by-products of coal burning affects more than just the childrens’ lungs, as earlier studies had found.

"This is really extending that," she says. "This is more than just a respiratory problem. This is really an issue that the whole body is being affected. In some way, skeletal growth is also somehow having the impact of that exposure. And we don’t know the mechanism but we’re seeing it, we’re measuring it."

According to Hertz-Picciotto, the effect of living in a coal-heated house was similar to the impact of breathing cigarette smoke. "And in fact, if a child not only had coal smoke that they’d been breathing, but also second-hand tobacco smoke, we found that in fact there was an even stronger impact."

So the three-year-olds exposed to both coal and tobacco smoke were about two centimeters shorter than those exposed to neither.

Irva Hertz-Picciotto’s paper is published online by the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, a journal of the American Medical Association. In an editorial accompanying the research paper, Dr. Catherine Karr of the University of Washington in Seattle says the research, "underscores the importance of cleaner fuels and technologies for home heating and cooking throughout the world."  



You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid