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Study: Infants' lungs at risk

DAVIS -- Researchers at the University of California at Davis say infants' lungs are more vulnerable to certain air pollution particles than previously was believed.

The study released last week shows a link between bron- chitis in infants and little- studied components in air pollution called polycyclic aro- matic hydrocarbons. Those particles are released through coal burning, wood-burning stoves and vehicle exhaust, among others.

Researchers used data from pollution studies and the health records of pregnant women, infants and children in the Czech Republic.

After a month of high average exposure, children under the age of 2 had a 30 percent increased risk for bronchitis.

The risk jumped to 50 percent for children from 2 to 4½.

Air quality advocates hope to use the data to increase controls on emissions from vehicles and wood-burning stoves.

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