It may seem odd at first; to phantom that the very natural resources that we need to live, work and play, are also associated with an array of health problems. The truth is a hard one to swallow. So, don’t be surprised that you haven’t heard the following information blasted on local news! However, this crucial information affects our children’s health at epidemic rates.
Amazingly there are 25 million children who live in areas that violate national air quality standards for ozone, particulate matter from coal fired plants and sulfur dioxide. Another 35 million children live very close to power plants and 2 million kids are asthmatic…which is linked to airborne pollutants. A recent health study from the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that air pollution levels in major U.S. cities pose a health risk comparable to second hand smoke. Does this mean that it is just as bad to go outside in the fresh air, as it is to eat in the “non-smoking” side of your local restaurant? Well, you be the judge, however, in some States or Countries… it is better to be in a smoke filled restaurant.
There are so many health hazards, (fossil fuels, VOC’s, smog, etc.) it‘s difficult to begin a discussion without sounding overly negative and pessimistic. So, I would like to leave this “personal disclaimer” before, stating the following information. “The U.S. Government, along with other countries, is making valiant efforts to minimize our ongoing threat of potentially devastating health and life consequences, emitting from our current energy sources.”
But…Clinical trials prove air pollution; including SMOG has devastating effects on our children’s health! The best research we have at the time was researched by USC in 2004, called “A Children’s Health Study”. The study showed that long term exposure to air pollution has long term effects on children’s lungs. This “should be” a National platform for Environmental Change. Yes, Global Warming is factually warming the earth…which has been occurring for 100’s of years. The long term effects of global warming may include, health issues, derived from Extreme Weather Conditions. But, again, our children’s health is currently deteriorating, due to current ozone related issues.
Research has shown that kids who live in certain geographic areas of California, experience a 10%-15% decrease in lung functionality, than kids who were raised in other parts of the country. Further research shows that kids are far more likely to experience Lung damage as an adult from living and growing up in areas where high levels of smog have been measured.
In 2004, The Journal of the American Medical Association linked higher death rates caused by smog or often called ‘ground ozone”.
Smog has the following effect on our children:
• Damaged cells in the lung’s airways, causing inflation and swelling of the lungs.
• Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Sneezing, wheezing and other neurological problems.
• Decreased breathing capacity (cough and chest pain)
• Decrements of lung functioning (reduced ability to take a breath)