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CHINA: CHILDREN’S EXPOSURE TO THE SEVERE DEGREE OF AIR POLLUTION

Air pollution represents one of the most challenging and also urgent issue that China has to face with concrete strategies.

The severe level of pollution that Chinese cities experience represents a great threat especially for children that are the most vulnerable to the effects of environmental related issues.

In that context, there are many concerns and doubts about the strategies to undertake in order to address smog, particularly when it comes to young children.

Moreover, many Chinese schools have been criticized for their handling of the problem. For example one elementary school came under the spotlight for taking children on an outing on a smoggy day.

According to experts, children’s respiratory and immune systems are not fully developed, and they have less of the nose hair that helps filter pollution. Additionally, children breathe a proportionately greater level of air than adults that means more pollutants are inhaled per unit of body weight, and are more likely to be involved in vigorous activity, the Natural Resources Defence Council has explained. Consequently, this is believed to make children more vulnerable to the effects of pollution.

Recent studies have stressed that long-term exposure to pollution makes children more likely to develop respiratory infections and asthma. Additionally, the severe degree of pollution can even represent a factor able to increase the risk of lung cancer.

Data show that a third of China’s 30 million known asthmatics are children: two in every 10 youngsters now have the condition. As experts outline, asthma is caused by a mixture of genetic and environmental factors, among which pollution is one of the most important. 

 

The gLAWcal Team

EPSEI project

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

(Source: ChinaDialogue)