Next Article in Journal
Concept of Aided Phytostabilization of Contaminated Soils in Postindustrial Areas
Next Article in Special Issue
Estimating the Causal Impact of Proximity to Gold and Copper Mines on Respiratory Diseases in Chilean Children: An Application of Targeted Maximum Likelihood Estimation
Previous Article in Journal
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Mediated through Binding Androgen Receptor Are Associated with Diabetes Mellitus
Previous Article in Special Issue
Climate Change and Schools: Environmental Hazards and Resiliency
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessCommentary
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 16; doi:10.3390/ijerph15010016

Pollution from Fossil-Fuel Combustion is the Leading Environmental Threat to Global Pediatric Health and Equity: Solutions Exist

Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 722 W. 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA
Received: 22 November 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 23 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Children’s Environmental Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [333 KB, uploaded 23 December 2017]

Abstract

Fossil-fuel combustion by-products are the world’s most significant threat to children’s health and future and are major contributors to global inequality and environmental injustice. The emissions include a myriad of toxic air pollutants and carbon dioxide (CO2), which is the most important human-produced climate-altering greenhouse gas. Synergies between air pollution and climate change can magnify the harm to children. Impacts include impairment of cognitive and behavioral development, respiratory illness, and other chronic diseases—all of which may be “seeded“ in utero and affect health and functioning immediately and over the life course. By impairing children’s health, ability to learn, and potential to contribute to society, pollution and climate change cause children to become less resilient and the communities they live in to become less equitable. The developing fetus and young child are disproportionately affected by these exposures because of their immature defense mechanisms and rapid development, especially those in low- and middle-income countries where poverty and lack of resources compound the effects. No country is spared, however: even high-income countries, especially low-income communities and communities of color within them, are experiencing impacts of fossil fuel-related pollution, climate change and resultant widening inequality and environmental injustice. Global pediatric health is at a tipping point, with catastrophic consequences in the absence of bold action. Fortunately, technologies and interventions are at hand to reduce and prevent pollution and climate change, with large economic benefits documented or predicted. All cultures and communities share a concern for the health and well-being of present and future children: this shared value provides a politically powerful lever for action. The purpose of this commentary is to briefly review the data on the health impacts of fossil-fuel pollution, highlighting the neurodevelopmental impacts, and to briefly describe available means to achieve a low-carbon economy, and some examples of interventions that have benefited health and the economy. View Full-Text
Keywords: children’s health; fossil fuel emissions; air pollution; climate change; neurodevelopment; benefits of intervention; policy children’s health; fossil fuel emissions; air pollution; climate change; neurodevelopment; benefits of intervention; policy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Perera, F. Pollution from Fossil-Fuel Combustion is the Leading Environmental Threat to Global Pediatric Health and Equity: Solutions Exist. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 16.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top