On the Radio- Biodiversity may reduce asthma


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A look at New Zealand’s unique flora. (Tatiana G/flickr)

Eden DeWald | July 23, 2018

This week’s segment details a study that found a correlation in asthma reduction and a biodiverse environment.

Transcript:

Biodiverse living spaces can have a positive affect on your child’s health

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

A new study by the USDA Forest Service found that children who lived in areas with more plant biomass or more biodiversity were less likely to develop asthma. Plant biomass refers to the total percentage of plant life, where plant biodiversity refers to the different types of plant life in an area. The Forest Service collaborated with Massey University in New Zealand to track 50,000 children’s health condition using the country’s comprehensive data base that compiles health information data from most New Zealand citizens.

The study concluded that areas with more plant biomass lessened the risk of developing asthma by six percent while areas with more plant biodiversity reduced the risk of developing asthma by seven percent. In 2015, one in twelve Iowans suffered from asthma. The Forest Service study demonstrates the value of a green environment to our health.

For more information, visit iowa-environmental-focus-dot-org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Sara E. Mason.

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