The effects of air pollution on a child can have lifelong health implications


Mumbai, December 12, 2017: Children are one of the most vulnerable groups to the ill effects of air pollution and can have lifelong health implications. Many studies have shown that air pollution is strongly associated with respiratory conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma, among others. It can also impact children’s immune system, the lung and brain development and cognitive development. If left untreated, some health complications related to air pollution can last a lifetime.

There are various studies in the past showing how pollution hampers lung function and bra­in development in children. The volume of inhaled air also varies widely with activity level; actively playing or exercising children inhale much greater volumes than those who are sedentary or asleep. This difference in breathing behavior may also increase the child’s risk of pulmonary exposure to particulate matters. The lungs and brain of children can develop much better with cleaner air.

Speaking on the effects of air pollution on children, Mr. Girish Bapat, Blueair Director West and South Asia Region, said, “Children are most vulnerable to air pollution than adults. They are at high risk from inhaled toxins because of their developing lungs and immune system. Some children are more susceptible than others. Individuals suffering from chronic lung disease, particularly asthma, are potentially at greater risk than those not having such conditions. It’s advisable to take necessary precautions and make use of the technology solutions like air purifiers to combat the effects of air pollution. With Blueair IOT enabled air purifiers, parents can control the indoor air of their home sitting in office through their mobile phones and protect their loved ones from any airborne diseases.”

Dr. Tushar Maniar, Head of Dept., Pediatrics, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital and Director, Maniar Clinic, further added, “Both indoor and outdoor air pollution have a significant impact in exacerbation and difficulty in control of childhood allergies, including asthma. Outdoor pollution is not under our control but exposure can be limited by avoiding high pollution time to take children out of the house. For Indoor pollution, smoking should be avoided. Room air cleaners are useful only when major allergen stores (old carpets, fur toys etc.) are taken care. One needs to use air filters with HEPA (High Efficiency Air Filter), where the air flow is directed towards the head of the child during sleep. Room air cleaners to be effective; have to be used for at least one year or more.”

The levels of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 have serious health implications such as asthma, bronchitis, chronic respiratory symptoms including, shortness of breath, painful breathing, and premature deaths as these tend to get lodged in the lung and can even enter the bloodstream.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017