Air pollution simply put, means the presence of harmful gases and particles in the air, which on being inhaled, cause tremendous health hazards. The most vulnerable group of those affected are children, pregnant and lactating women and most of all our neonates. Babies and children are most vulnerable to the ill effects of air pollution as their lungs are still growing and developing. The most at â€“ risk babies are those who are preterm and low birth weight babies.
State of Global Air 2020 report released on October 21, giving a comprehensive analysis of air pollutionâ€™s global impact on new-borns, has reported that about 116,000 infants in India succumb within the first month of being born, due to air pollution with more than half of the infant deaths resulting due to inhalation of PM 2.5 (particulate matter). Air pollution could mean indoor as well as outdoor pollution, not to forget your car. In order to protect our babies from the ill effects of air pollution, one has to understand what the sources of this pollution are, and what ill effects they have, to understand the urgency and emergency of tackling this menace.
Outdoor pollution is largely due to traffic, building materials in construction and stubble burning, coal-burning power plants, industrial activities, waste burning, and many other human and natural sources. Indoor pollution is due to the chemicals which we use to clean our homes, room fresheners, and other perfumed things like burning scented candles and incense sticks. How we cook at home is another major factor contributing to poor quality of indoor air. Thus, using charcoal, chulha, barbeques, stoves are sources which pollute indoor air. Smoking is yet another major factor for indoor air pollution.
Here are a few tips for parents:
Checking indoor pollution:
For Outdoor pollution:
For your car:
I am sure that we have understood the great harm that air pollution can do to our babies and we unite in our efforts both at level of individual, family and as society to keep our air clean so that our babies can breathe free.