AirMD's Green Blog
Indoor air pollution has many potential effects on the health of both adults and children but children are more susceptible to respiratory problems than adults. In the past decade, the incidence of respiratory diseases in children has increased. Asthma, one of the most predominant respiratory diseases, has showed a measurable increase, not to mention the many other diseases including allergic rhinitis, bronchitis and respiratory infections.
Studies show when a child is active and breathing is more rapid, a child can breathe as much as 20-50% more air than that of an adult. Now consider this, most children in their home or school at some point are active, whether it is running, jumping or just playing. This offers the opportunity to breathe many more pollutants.
The ability for indoor pollutants to have an affect on an adult’s health is apparent but with a child, whose lungs are still developing, this adds additional concern to the child’s health.
There are many sources of pollutants indoors that can impact a child’s respiratory health. Chemicals from cleaning products, mold, bacteria, airborne particles containing harmful compounds, allergens in dust, all can have an influence in the development of a child’s respiratory system. As is with any environmental pollutant, the longer the exposure, the bigger the influence it can have.
Our children spend approximately 70% of their time indoors and 15% at school; the majority of their time is indoors like most adults. In a home or school environment which contains multiple sources of pollutants, it is no wonder that childhood respiratory disease is on the increase.
Improving our home and school environments for our children requires change. It requires awareness of what the environmental influences are, it requires a willingness to implement change in behaviors and it requires periodic monitoring to ensure conditions are favorable as much as possible for good health.