Air pollution is not only harmful for the environment but is also dangerous for the human body. Children are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of air pollution. Here’s how air pollution can affect children:
Respiratory Outcomes Getting Worse: Many chronic respiratory health effects in both asthmatic and non-asthmatic children have been associated with exposure to air pollutants. Although asthmatic children are more susceptible to the adverse effects of air pollution, healthy children too can face problems. Several studies suggest that critical levels of air pollutants can cause lung diseases and infections in children.
Mortality Outcomes: Air pollution has also been shown to be responsible for increased mortality rates in children. The incidence of sudden infant death syndrome is known to have increased due to exposure to harmful air pollutants.
Effect on immunity: Exposure to air pollutants is known to lead to altered immune responses in children; both cellular and humoral immunity are known to get affected.
Increased Risk of Vitamin D-deficiency rickets: In a study, it was observed that an increased risk of Vitamin D- deficiency prevailed wherever children were exposed to ambient air pollution.
Air pollution has harmful effects not just on children but also on adults, especially on women in developing countries. More than 3 billion women today are affected by indoor air pollution caused by lack of basic facilities in developing countries.
Some of the adverse effects of air pollution on women are recounted here:
Pregnancy Complications: If a pregnant woman is exposed to harmful air pollutants, there is a high risk of pregnancy complications.
Respiratory Issues: Women exposed to indoor air pollution face many respiratory issues such as asthma, bronchitis etc. In developing countries houses are not properly ventilated, which results in a build-up of air pollutants inside, leading in turn to adverse health effects.
Skin Allergies: Exposure to ambient air pollution can cause various skin diseases and allergies.
Effects on Immunity: Exposure to pollutants in the air can also affect immunity, causing a delayed immune response to various infections and diseases.
Decreases Life Expectancy: Women working in set-ups where levels of air pollutants are high are known to have lower life expectancy than women living in a healthy environment. Air pollutants act as slow poison and tend to cause damaging effects in the body.