Clear skies and a brisk wind helped keep Boston’s air quality good this week. But as with any major city, those conditions are not likely to last — which is why asthma rates, especially among children, tend to be higher in urban areas.

But what if you take the child out of the urban area? Does asthma improve? A new study suggests that it does — and significantly. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health found that among the 250 or so children studied, the ones relocated to cleaner, low-poverty neighborhoods, had more than forty percent fewer asthmatic episodes when compared with their urban counterparts over a three-month period.

Asthma rates in cities are primarily driven by high particulate emissions and other off-gases from vehicles and manufacturing. In addition, cities tend to be ‘heat islands’ in the warmer months — locking in high temperatures and humidity, which can make breathing difficult.

And stress in cities tends to be higher — something which could affect immunity, leading to respiratory infections, and help trigger asthmatic attacks.

The American Lung Association ranks Boston’s annual particulate pollution as 96th worst in the country out of 200 metropolitan areas. And while the city has issues with ozone, the trend is headed in the right direction. In fact, the ALA finds many of the ‘most polluted’ cities in California and other states in the west.

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