Air pollution is the new tobacco and the simple act of breathing kills 7 million people a year and damages billions more, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) in an interview with The Guardian on Saturday
An estimated 91% of the world's population is exposed to air pollution, which is the world's greatest environmental risk and 4.2 million deaths from bad outdoor air and 3.8 million households caused by dirty stoves. 19659002] According to State of Global Air's 2018 report, which associates air pollutants with 10.6% of all deaths in the country, India's pollution is killing 1.1 million people. In addition to asthma and other respiratory diseases, environmental pollution causes deaths from stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, lung infections, and trachea, bronchial and lung cancer.
In children, the risk starts in the womb and persists beyond the neonate early childhood stages, according to the WHO in a new report, published two days before the world's first Global Conference on Pollution and Health from 30 October to 1
Exposure of the mother to contaminated air has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, including premature birth, low birth weight, abnormal birth length and head circumference, and small gestational age. Children's developing lungs are most prone to injury because they breathe faster, are more active, spend more time outdoors, and have a developing immune system.
Children exposed to pollution have lower maximum pulmonary function capacity and are more susceptible to infections and the toxic effects of air pollutants than adults, resulting in more exacerbations of chronic lung diseases such as asthma and cystic fibrosis, and increased hospitalization.
Smog, the toxic mist that results when dust in the air, carbon particles, is harmful. Gases and ozone react chemically in the presence of sunlight, preventing ultraviolet B radiation from reaching the Earth's surface, causing vitamin D in children Lack of weakness leads. Human skin needs 7-dehydrocholesterol to cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) when exposed to ultraviolet B from the sun, which is needed to form strong bones and prevent bone loss (osteoporosis) later in life.
Pollution results in lower memory and IQ, with infants being most susceptible to toxic chemicals in the first 1,000 days after birth when most brain development takes place. It also causes psychological and behavioral problems, developmental delays to the age of three, a decline in the IQ by four points at the age of five, said a Unicef report published in 2017.
Exposure to traffic noise is also associated with behavioral problems. Sleeping in rooms exposed to nocturnal traffic makes children hyperactive, sleepless and raises their blood pressure.
Pollution control and exposure controls reduce some negative effects. After the reunification of Germany in 1990, the reduction of sulfur dioxide in Germany led to improved lung function and a decrease in respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, sinusitis and frequent colds in children. Studies from the US have also shown that children who have moved to states with better air conditions have increased lung function and lowered hospital admissions for respiratory diseases such as asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, and respiratory infections.
First published: October 28, 2018 11:47 IST