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Two air pollutants are regulated by the European Union, particulate matter <10 μm diameter (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The effects of NO2 on respiratory health remain uncertain and distinguishing the effects of NO2 from those of other air pollutants is difficult. In the Pollution and the Young (PATY) project data have been collected from 12 countries. A recent report (

) has presented data from five countries and almost 24 000 children. Long-term average atmospheric concentrations of NO2 were not related to prevalence of asthma or bronchitis but were related to sensitivity to inhaled allergens and allergies to pets. It is concluded that NO2 is probably an indicator of air pollution from traffic but a specific effect of NO2 cannot be excluded.

The US multicentre Early Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity (ETROP) study showed that retinal ablation for high-risk prethreshold retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) improved outcomes at a corrected age of 9 months. Now (

) data on 339 of 374 surviving children have shown that at age 2 years the prevalence of unfavourable structural outcomes was improved significantly (9.1% in early treated eyes versus 15.4% in control eyes). Ophthalmic side effects from the ROP or its treatment were similar in the two groups. Further assessment …

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