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August 2018 (Vol. 3 Issue 6)

Suffocating

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Air pollution is seriously affecting healthy lung development in our children

Air pollution is seriously affecting healthy lung development in our children. As a result they are likely to be more prone to respiratory illnesses, or to suffer wheezing if they pick up a viral infection, as adults.
This alarming health worry has been known for some time, and has been confirmed by numerous studies, but nobody was sure if the children's lungs would eventually recover.
A new study tracked a group of children for the longest time yet - for the eight years that the lungs develop - and concludes that our children will have poorly functioning lungs as adults unless dramatic controls of air pollutants are introduced.
The main culprits are nitrogen dioxide, acid vapour and elemental carbon, a toxic mix that, when combined, seriously impair the healthy growth of qa child's lungs. The only thing more damaging is for the child to be around a mother who smokes.
In all, 1,759 children were monitored from the age of 10 until 18, during which time the lungs grow to maturity. The lungs of boys carry on developing to the age of 21, but the researchers did not expect to see any significant changes in the last three years.


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