State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Air Pollution and Climate Change Take a Growing Toll on Children’s Health

The following is an excerpt from a press release by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

A New England Journal of Medicine article reviews the evidence on the large and growing toll of air pollution and fossil fuel-driven climate change on children. Frederica Perera of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Kari Nadeau of the Stanford University School of Medicine write that protecting children’s health requires that health professionals understand the multiple harms to children from climate change and air pollution and use available strategies to reduce these harms.

The authors write that the fetus, infant, and child are uniquely vulnerable to climate-related impacts and air pollution. Moreover, research indicates that air pollutants and climate change are able to interact to affect children’s health, although further study is needed. All children are at risk, but the greatest burden falls on those who are socially and economically disadvantaged.

The article cites dozens of research studies on how fossil fuel combustion is taking a major toll on the physical and mental health of children.

Read the rest of the story.

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