Impact of Air Pollution on Kids' Health
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|   Jan 02, 2017
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Impact of Air Pollution on Kids' Health

Air pollution has many effects on the health of both adults and children. Over the past several years the number of  incidence of airborne diseases has increased greatly. Among all asthma is perhaps the most talked about disease with an increasing number of incidences, but other diseases, such as, bronchitis, allergic reactions and respiratory infections also have been increasing. The cause of all these is air pollution.

Globally, air pollution contributes to the death of 4.3 million people each year, of whom 13 percent are children under 5. Of this age group, more than 50 percent of deaths are attributed to pneumonia caused by particulate matter. (ref: https://www.unicef.org/health/)

Children’s exposure to air pollution is an important concern because their immune system and lungs are not fully developed. The lungs are not well formed at birth, and development of full functionality does not occur until approximately 6 years of age.

Children also have a larger lung surface area per kilogram of body weight than adults and, under normal breathing, breathe 50% more air per kg of their body weight when compared to adults. This process of early growth and development, the outcome of which is important for the future health of the child, suggests that there is a critical exposure time when air pollution may have lasting effects on their respiratory health.

In addition, children spend more time outside, where the concentration of polluted air from traffic, power-plants, and other combustion sources is generally higher. Although air pollution has long been thought to exacerbate minor acute illnesses, recent studies have suggested that air pollution, from traffic, is associated with infant mortality and the development of asthma and respiratory problems. Other studies have associated particulate air pollution with acute bronchitis in children and demonstrated that rates of chronic cough and bronchitis declined in areas where particle concentrations have fallen. Overall, evidence for effects of air pollution on children have been growing, and effects are seen at concentrations that are common today.

How to Help Reduce Air Pollution

If you have been looking to get in on the whole environmental movement, then you’ve likely been trying to find various measures that you have when it comes to preventing air pollution problems from becoming a bigger issue. Support leaders who push for clean air and water and who take responsible steps on climate change.

Try out these given ideas for yourself so that you can contribute in stopping air pollution in your area:

  1. Pool a car or share a ride
  2. Do Regular Pollution Check for your Car
  3. Keep Car Tires Properly Inflated
  4. Buy Energy Efficient Vehicles
  5. Consider “going green”
  6. Plant a Garden
  7. Turn Off Lights When not in Use
  8. Make use of Solar Energy
  9. Use Natural Gas Instead of Charcoal
  10. Always Use Recyclable Products
  11. Reuse Paper Bags
  12. Avoid Plastic Bags
  13. Choose Products With Minimal Packaging
  14. Don’t Use Hazardous Chemicals
  15. Quit Smoking

How to Protect Your Kids from the Harmful Effects of Air Pollution

  • When you see in the newspaper or hear on the weather report that pollution levels are high, it may be useful not to allow children go outside.
  • If the air quality is bad, stay inside with windows closed.
  • Let your child play inside the house.
  • Make your child wear sunscreen. When ultraviolet radiation comes through the weakened ozone layer, it can cause skin damage and skin cancer.
  • Plant indoor plants to reduce air pollution in your surrounding areas.
  • Avoid keeping pets near your child.
  • Do not use room fresheners and fragrances at home.
  • Have an air purifier at home which can clean the air of your house.

The new technology air purifiers are designed in way that purifies the air of your house. The function of the purifier is to remove air pollutants. An air purifier with a High Efficiency Particulate Absorption (HEPA) filter is able to capture at least 99.97% of air contaminants, down to 0.3 microns in size. Some of these small particles may have very large adverse effects.

Most HEPA air filters are able to filter dust, smoke, asbestos, pollen, pet dander and many other common air pollutants. Additionally, air purifiers designed to remove specific pollutants may also be used — for example, air purifiers specifically for tobacco smoke removal.

Overall, there are many different types and qualities of air purifiers. You can measure the clean air delivery rate of any air purifier through the Room Air Cleaner Certification Program. This program sets the standard for air purifiers.

Remarkable mortality and morbidity in children is attributed to the environmental air pollution at great economic cost to the society. As our nation grows and the population increases, we need to be aware of air pollution and its effects on our children. Consideration needs to be given to control air pollution and to find ways to combat the effects of this air pollution. By taking certain steps of keeping our own homes safe by placing new technology air purifiers and planting environment friendly plants we can create a fresh and safe environment for our kids to breathe in.

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