Children's Diseases

All fine particulate pollution (PM2.5 and smaller) and wood smoke make children sick and cause them to miss school. There is no safe level of PM2.5. This pollution, caused by combustion, interferes with growth, mental development, and health. Newborns, the developing fetus, children, the chronically ill, and the elderly, as well as athletes, die prematurely due to smoke pollution. In addition toxic gases and toxic metals act upon undeveloped bodies and the nervous and immune systems. They also affect the brain.

Children Inhale Higher Percentage Of Pollution,

New Research Shows Lungs Develop Better In Kids Who Move Away From Pollution

Bio Fuels Linked With Lower Birth Weight.

Mental Retardation from Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon exposure in the womb.

Smog Hurts Boys and Girls Differently

Pollution Causes Lung Changes in Children, Associated Press, Chicago Nov. 29, 2001 

Lung Radiology and Pulmonary Function of Children Chronically Exposed to Air Pollution" in Mexico

Asthma in Children

See also the asthma page.

Ear Disease (Otitis Media): The association with wood and charcoal smoke indicates that there is a need to educate people regarding the avoidance of exposing their children to this environmental hazard.

Lead and Delinquency Wood smoke contains hundreds of chemicals. . Wood smoke also contains lead, cadmium and arsenic. Wood smoke can damage sperm and cause birth defects.

Immune Damage: Diabetes, Cancer, Birth Defects: Excerpt: " The researchers explained this means that fetuses must be 10 times as vulnerable to PAH damage as adults. "What gets across (the placenta) is not detoxified, and the damage to the DNA is not repaired in the fetus as it is in the mother." Wood smoke contains many toxic gases and chemicals including many carcinogens. Genetic Damage from PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and Dioxin. Wood burning is the third largest source of dioxin in the United States. The exposure to humans is high because it is generated in our neighborhoods . "These results indicate that not only the T cells associated with the lung, but also circulating T cells were affected by the wood smoke exposure. This may at least in part explain why respiratory tract infections are more common in populations using wood for cooking and heating."

SIDS (PDF 118KB) - (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) "Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Air Pollution and Selected Causes of Postneonatal Infant Mortality in California"  May, 2006, Environmental Health Perspectives

Air Pollution Especially Harmful To Lungs Of Obese Children, Source: American Thoracic Society, Posted: May 25, 2004

University of Massachusetts: Lowell Report on Childhood Cancers

An Annotated Bibliography on Acute Respiratory Infections and Indoor Air Pollution with Emphasis on Children Under 5 in Developing Countries

The American Lung Association has published an annotated bibliography of recent studies of the health effects of air pollution. The bibliography summarizes several dozen studies published from mid-2001 to mid-2002 in peer-reviewed journals. The new studies link air pollution with lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, congenital heart defects, asthma, and even brain damage. They identify diabetics, asthma patients, those with congestive heart failure, and children who play outdoors as being at increased risk. The recent research elucidates several pathways to explain the effects of air pollution on the cardiovascular system. The bibliography is available as a PDF file download (276 K)

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