Children and Air Pollution

Environmental Filter | August 17th, 2020

Air pollution affects everyone including children. In a lot of ways, children are more vulnerable due to still developing lungs. Exposure to air pollution can cause serious harm to children and can cause long-term issues.

Air Pollution as a Global Issue

Air pollution affects every aspect of life: the environment, animals, ecosystems, and people. Not only is air pollution a problem in the U.S., but it is an issue worldwide. According to EPA, “concentrations of air pollutants have dropped significantly since 1990.” [1] However, the problem of air pollution still persists. Air quality levels depend on where you are on the globe. The air we breathe in should be clean and free of harmful pollutants and particulate in order to protect our health and the environment.

Children's Health

While growing up, children are at their most vulnerable state. This is because their growing bodies are still developing. Their brains are developing and most importantly so are their lungs.

At birth, a child’s lungs are relatively small and “have about 60 million air sacs/alveoli,” but by the time they are fully grown have around 300 million.” [2] These air sacs are what allows the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. In other words, they are components of the lungs that allow a person to breathe.

A child’s immune system also has to be built up to be able to recognize and fight off viruses and infections. Respiratory infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, influenza is much more prevalent in children because of their still developing immune system.

Air Pollutants Exposure

Children spend a lot more time outdoors than adults do. While adults mainly spend their day inside at work, children have recess at school. Children “spend hours outside playing at parks or in their yard.” [3] While outdoors and even inside their school, children can be exposed to harmful pollutants. They also breathe in more air due to being more active and playing outside. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), ambient air pollution contributed to a little over 4 million deaths in the year of 2016. “Almost 300,000 were children under 5 years” of age. [4]

How does Dust Collection help?

Dust collection technology can make all the difference. Keeping industries, factories, and other places clean of airborne pollutants can have a greater impact on air pollution levels. With lower pollution levels and good air quality, children can have a more breathable environment to grow up in. With lower pollution levels and good air quality, children can have a more breathable environment to grow up in.

Air Quality Within Schools

Even schools and university use some sort of dust collection and air filtration. Certain university classes such as woodshop and welding also need dust collection to better filter out harmful dusts and fumes. Poor air quality in schools can lead to a number of problems such as, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, and even lack of concentration. Various studies have been done on the air quality within schools and the direct impact on a child’s health.

One study that was conducted at a London University discovered that “exposure to indoor air pollutants was associated with lower exam test scores.” [5] This was also the case with a 2016 study in Israel. This might be how pollution affects the brain, though further study is needed. It is important for schools to have the necessary air filtration and/or dust collection technology in place to reduce the risks of health effects from poor air quality.