Air pollution destroying kids’ lungs


Air pollution destroying kids' lungs

Photo: Shutterstock

Air pollution has a severe impact on health and millions of children in India are suffering from lung damage due to the toxic air.

Air pollution affects children more than adults because children tend to spend more time outdoors and their lungs are still developing. Studies show that developing organs are sensitive to the toxic effects of air pollutants and environmental toxins, and that children absorb pollutants more readily than adults and retain them in the body for longer periods of time.

A new study has found that air pollution in Delhi is affecting four out of every 10 children. In fact, in comparison with children from other metros in India, kids from the Capital were said to have the weakest lungs and developing problems.

The World Health Organisation has found that India has the world’s highest rate of death from respiratory disease, with 159 per 100,000 in 2012, about 10 times that of Italy, five times that of the UK and twice that of China. Also the study suggests that half of Delhi’s 4.4 million schoolchildren would never recover full lung capacity.

This means that children receive extremely high doses of toxic chemicals and damaging particulates. Now-a-days, with the increasing air pollution, there is a rise in respiratory illness, skin and eye allergies, cardiac arrest, memory loss, depression and lung damage.

Effects of pollution: 

  • Breathing polluted air puts children at a higher risk for asthma and other respiratory diseases.
  • When exposed to ground ozone for 6 to 7 hours, scientific evidence show that healthy people’s lung function decreased and they suffered from respiratory inflammation.
  • Air pollutants are mostly carcinogens and living in a polluted area can put people at risk of Cancer.
  • Coughing and wheezing are common symptoms observed on city folks.
  • Damages the immune system, endocrine and reproductive systems.
  • High levels of particle pollution have been associated with higher incidents of heart problems.
  • The burning of fossil fuels and the release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are causing the Earth to become warmer.
  • The toxic chemicals released into the air settle into plants and water sources. Animals eat the contaminated plants and drink the water. The poison then travels up the food chain – to us.

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