Toxic Air Pollution, Stressors Of Climate Change: Root Causes Of Ill Health On Children Today

First Posted: Jun 23, 2016 08:49 AM EDT

Researchers discovered that fossil fuel combustion, carbon dioxide and associated air pollution are the root causes of much of the ill health of children today. They are vulnerable from the toxic pollution and stressors of climate change.

Frederica Perera, director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health stated that the single most important action we can take for children and their future is to cure the addiction to fossil fuel. The researchers explained that reducing the dependence on fossil fuels, the health of the children would benefit, particularly the poor children, who are the ones most affected by toxic pollution and stressors of climate change as noted by Science Daily.

There would be health benefits for children if the air pollution is reduced. These include fewer children would suffer from asthma and neurodevelopmental problems such as lower IQ and ADHD and fewer babies born at low birth weight. With lowered emissions of CO2 and mitigation of climate change, fewer children will suffer from the infectious disease, heat stress, malnutrition, mental illness from social, displacement and political instability and respiratory illness.

Perera said that reducing dependence on fossil fuels is a moral imperative. She further said that they can advocate and they can act. They can cite scientific and economic evidence and advocate for harmonized and holistic environmental and climate policies at the community, state and global health. They suggest that people can avoid burning in the home, buy locally grown food, drive energy-efficient vehicles and use public transportation where possible to reduce the carbon footprints. They also advise that through consumer power people can help shape markets towards green products produced sustainably.

Toxic pollution is a major risk in all countries, particularly in poor countries. It is estimated that 200 million people are affected by toxic pollution in the developing world. According to World Health Organization, there were 20 percent deaths in the developing world that was attributed to toxic pollution.


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