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How does pollution damage childrens health?

10 Nov 2017

As practising paediatricians we may suffer from a certain cognitive dissonance about environmental pollution: we have been told that it is bad for children’s health, but only rarely can we directly attribute a child’s illness to their pollution exposure, at least in the West. The epidemiological evidence of a link between various form of pollution and ill-health has been covered in depth by a Lancet special commission (Landrigan P et al. 2017.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32345-0). This lengthy feature looks at the issue from a global perspective, and follows on from a similarly authoritative and disconcerting report from two Royal Colleges (the RCP and RCPCH), focussing on the problem in the UK (‘Every breath we take’ http://bit.ly/1Nv4CIa). Both reports deal with the effects on populations as a whole rather than just children, but both cite extensive literature that should convince anyone of the harms pollution can cause to young people. This ranges...

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Archives of Disease in Childhood