Air Quality – Economies, Ecosystems and Children

Air pollution and air quality affects all of us.  Here are some articles relating to it’s impact on economies, ecosystems and children’s health.

Please follow the links to read the articles at source.

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How air quality affects economies and ecosystems

https://www.pca.state.mn.us/air/how-air-quality-affects-economies-and-ecosystems

“Clean air means healthier ecosystems

Air pollution affects the ecosystems that Minnesotans value. Pollutants in our air reduce visibility, creating a haze that can affect scenic views in pristine places such as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Voyageurs National Park, as well as in our urban areas.

Minnesota’s lakes and streams can be harmed by air pollution that causes acid rain, and fish can be affected by mercury that settles out of the air and into the water. In addition, emissions of greenhouse gases contribute to climate change, which will cause significant changes to Minnesota’s ecosystems in the years to come. Reducing air pollution means protecting the wild places we enjoy and the plants and animals that inhabit them.

Clean air means a stronger economy
The money spent on reducing pollution in Minnesota often stays in Minnesota. Companies that design, install, maintain, and operate pollution-reducing processes and equipment create thousands of high-paying green jobs in engineering, manufacturing, construction, materials, operation, and maintenance.

Cleaner air and a growing economy can go hand in hand. Since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, emissions of common air pollutants in the U.S. have dropped 70 percent while the U.S. gross domestic product has grown nearly 250 percent.

Cleaner air protects the fish and natural places that many Minnesotans rely on for their livelihoods. Air pollution can also cause damage to crops and forests. Clear skies, edible fish, and healthy crop and forest land are critical to Minnesota’s economy.

Because cleaner air also improves our health, having good air quality means fewer missed work and school days and less spending on air pollution-related illness. We estimate the overall economic impact of health effects associated with exposure to current levels of air pollution in Minnesota may exceed $30 billion per year.

Cleaner air means a strong, diverse economy for all Minnesotans.”

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Children’s environmental health

WHO – https://www.who.int/health-topics/children-environmental-health#tab=tab_1

“Reducing environmental risks could prevent 1 in 4 child deaths. In 2012, 1.7 million deaths in children under five were attributable to the environment. These included 570 000 deaths from respiratory infections, 361 000 deaths from diarrhoea, 270 000 deaths from neonatal conditions, 200 000 deaths from malaria and 200 000 deaths from unintentional injuries.

Environmental risks have an impact on the health and development of children, from conception through childhood and adolescence and also into adulthood. The environment determines a child’s future: early life exposures impact on adult health as fetal programming and early growth may be altered by environmental risk factors.

Adverse environmental conditions and pollution are a major contributor to childhood deaths, illnesses and disability, particularly in developing countries.

Children are particularly vulnerable to certain environmental risks, including: air pollution; inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene; hazardous chemicals and waste, radiation; climate change; as well as emerging threats like e-waste.

Risks
Children are more vulnerable than adults to environmental risks:

Children are constantly growing. They breathe more air, consume more food, and drink more water than adults do, in proportion to their weight;
Children’s systems are still developing. This includes their central nervous, immune, reproductive, and digestive systems. At certain early stages of development, exposure to environmental toxicants can lead to irreversible damage;
Children behave differently from adults and this means there are different ways they can be exposed to environmental risks. For example, young children crawl on the ground where they may be exposed to dust and chemicals that accumulate on floors and soils;
Children have little control over their environment. Unlike adults, they may be both unaware of risks and unable to make choices to protect their health.
Environmental risks account for 25% of the disease burden in children under five. Children’s health problems often result from exposure to a number of environmental risk factors in the places where they live, work, play and learn.

Only through adopting a holistic approach to environmental risk factors can significant progress be made in reducing the environmental burden of disease on a global scale. Such an approach means involvement across sectors and at all levels of society including individuals, communities, municipalities, healthcare professionals, and policy makers.

Capacity
Childhood diseases related to environmental factors represent an enormous global public health problem. This is particularly true in developing countries and impoverished communities, where there is often lack of awareness and knowledge about the effects of environmental hazards on children’s health.
To help address this problem, WHO prepares information and training materials and implements training activities. To allow healthcare providers to better identify and prevent childhood diseases related to environmental risk factors, experts from both developed and developing countries have been involved in the preparation and peer-review of materials on specific environmental topics.”

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Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Air Quality - Economies, Ecosystems and Children

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