Children Are Sensitive To Air Pollution and Climate Change Stressors
Frederica Perera, the current director of the CCCEH (Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health), wrote a commentary published in Environmental Health Prespectives that stated fossil fuel combustion in association with air pollution and carbon dioxide levels were the underlying reason many children suffer from mental and physical health conditions.
He stated that children today were burden by diseases that were a direct result of pollution and the changing climate.
Mr. Perera stated that “the single most important action we can take for out children and their future is to cure our addiction to fossil fuel.”
He summarizes his commentary using strong evidence gathered by the CCCEH and other research groups that states simply by reducing the amount of combustible fossil fuels used children will benefit from improved mental and physical health, and governments could save billions of dollars that would normally have been spent of medical care. While all children would benefit from a drastic reduction in fossil fuel emissions, those in less developed nations would see the greatest improvements in their health.
Listed in his concluding paragraphs Mr Perera wrote that improved air quality would help to reduce the number of infants born with dangerously low birth weights, along with a decrease in childhood asthma. He also believes that there would be fewer problems with brain development, which in turn would reduce the percentage of children born with a lower IQ or ADHD. If CO2 emissions were effectively lowered, according to the commentary, there would also be less incidents of children dying from droughts or floods. Heat stress, infectious disease rates, malnutrition, along with respiratory and mental illnesses would also improve with lower CO2 emissions.
The commentary closes with the assertion that it is imperative that everyone takes significant steps to reduce CO2 emission, which means being less dependent on fossil fuel. By growing our own food, driving less, and paying more attention to energy efficient products everyone can start making a difference and help to improve air quality.