04 July 2024

Air pollution

Air pollution is one of the greatest threats to children’s health. Ninety-nine per cent of people in the world live in places where the air is considered unhealthy. When children breathe toxic air, it harms their health and jeopardizes their future. For children to grow up healthy, they need clean, safe air. Here are some ways you can reduce air…, Air pollution: Fast facts, What is air pollution?, When harmful substances (pollutants) – particles, gases, or matter – are released into the air and reduce its quality, the air is polluted. When it is very polluted, we can see a gray or yellow haze., Where does air pollution come from?, Most air pollution comes from sources like power plants and factories that burn fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas); road traffic; waste management; excessive fertilizer and pesticide use and burning of agricultural waste; coal and wood burning stoves; and wildfires., How does air pollution impact our health?, Air pollution is directly linked with diseases that kill. It can cause serious health and environmental hazards to people and other living beings. Pollutants in the air contain particles known as PM 2.5. These particles are about the size of one-thirtieth the width of a human hair and can be carried across thousands of miles. PM 2.5 can pass into…, How do I know if the air is polluted?, Air pollution levels can vary depending on the place and time of day. Check if air quality information is available on weather apps or local news for where you live. Does your neighbourhood have operating factories, power plants or congested traffic nearby? If so, then you are likely being exposed to high levels of air pollution. Air pollution…, Children and air pollution, Why are children more at risk?, As children are growing, their developing lungs and brains makes them especially vulnerable to air pollution. Their immune systems are weaker than adults, making them more vulnerable to viruses, bacteria and other infections. This increases the risk of respiratory infection and reduces their ability to fight it. Young children breathe faster than…, How does air pollution impact children?, Air pollution causes both immediate and long-term health effects in children that can be irreversible. Air pollution is linked to respiratory conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma. It can exacerbate underlying health conditions and harm children’s physical and cognitive development. As a result, other areas of children’s lives can be…, What symptoms of exposure to air pollution should I look out for? , Here are some symptoms that can result from exposure to air pollution. Talk to your doctor if a member of your family experience any of these symptoms.   Dry/irritated eyes, headache, fatigue, allergies or shortness of breath. In infants, look out for signs of exertion while breathing.   People with asthma might experience more severe asthmatic…, How to protect children from air pollution, Air pollution is a global problem and requires action not just by families and individuals, but by communities and governments. However, there are many things we can do to reduce our exposure to air pollution and reduce its impact on children. Here are some key steps you can take with your family:, Protecting children from air pollution outdoors, Monitor the air quality information where you live on a daily basis and try to adjust your family’s behaviour and exposure levels accordingly. Try to reduce the time spent in areas where pollution is high, such as near or around areas of severe traffic congestion or sources of industrial pollution. Travelling at times of the day when air pollution…, Protecting children from air pollution indoors, Use cleaner fuels and technologies to cook, heat and light your home. If possible, choose electricity, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, biogas or solar stoves or ovens. Ensure the cooking area is well-ventilated by opening windows and using exhaust fans to allow heat and fumes to escape. If it’s hard to ventilate your kitchen, consider…, Help create change for cleaner air, Air pollution is a public health emergency and unless governments and businesses take concrete steps to reduce it, children will continue to suffer the most. You can play an important role in raising awareness of the problem and the solutions. Encourage and support your children to learn about and participate in environmental activities. For…