New research suggests that lung function development can improve in children if air pollution is reduced. The reduction in pollution will also bring down the number of young people who suffer from pulmonary impairments.
In recent years, the impact of air pollution on health has remained a topic of concern with the research reflecting that every organ of the body can be affected by pollution. A new study shows that developing organs and nervous systems of children become more susceptible to long-term damage because of air pollution.
The issue came into the spotlight in 2020 after the death of nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah in the UK who became the first person on whose death certificate air pollution was listed as the reason for death.
Ella’s mother, Rosamund Kissi-Debrah has now become a leading campaigner for clean air and is advocating for legislation which can make access to clean air a human right.
Previously, researchers had found that even low levels of air pollution can have a bad effect on lung function development in children between the age of six to 15. However, the new study stated that there can be improvements if the air is cleaned.
Prof Erik Melen, Karolinska Institute's paediatrician and professor at the department of clinical research and education, who co-authored the new study, said, “That’s a strong message to policymakers and city planners that actions to decrease air pollution level and exposure will pay off in the long term, definitely, for children and across the life course."