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Environmental Burden of Childhood Disease in Europe

1
Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal), 08003 Barcelona, Spain
2
Municipal Institute of Medical Research (IMIM-Hospital del Mar), 08003 Barcelona, Spain
3
Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
4
CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), 28029 Madrid, Spain
5
Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
6
MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
7
Department of Air Pollution and Noise, Division for Infection Control and Environmental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, N-0213 Oslo, Norway
8
Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Vytauto Didžiojo Universitetas, 44248 Kaunas, Lithuania
9
Department of Prevention and Therapy of Chronic Diseases, Institute of Advanced Biosciences (IAB), Inserm—CNRS—University Grenoble—Alpes, 38700 Grenoble, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 1084; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16061084
Received: 26 January 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 24 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract

Background: Environmental factors determine children’s health. Quantifying the health impacts related to environmental hazards for children is essential to prioritize interventions to improve health in Europe. Objective: This study aimed to assess the burden of childhood disease due to environmental risks across the European Union. Methods: We conducted an environmental burden of childhood disease assessment in the 28 countries of the EU (EU28) for seven environmental risk factors (particulate matter less than 10 micrometer of diameter (PM10) and less than 2.5 micrometer of diameter (PM2.5), ozone, secondhand smoke, dampness, lead, and formaldehyde). The primary outcome was disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), assessed from exposure data provided by the World Health Organization, Global Burden of Disease project, scientific literature, and epidemiological risk estimates. Results: The seven studied environmental risk factors for children in the EU28 were responsible for around 211,000 DALYs annually. Particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) was the main environmental risk factor, producing 59% of total DALYs (125,000 DALYs), followed by secondhand smoke with 20% of all DALYs (42,500 DALYs), ozone 11% (24,000 DALYs), dampness 6% (13,000 DALYs), lead 3% (6200 DALYs), and formaldehyde 0.2% (423 DALYs). Conclusions: Environmental exposures included in this study were estimated to produce 211,000 DALYs each year in children in the EU28, representing 2.6% of all DALYs in children. Among the included environmental risk factors, air pollution (particulate matter and ozone) was estimated to produce the highest burden of disease in children in Europe, half of which was due to the effects of PM10 on infant mortality. Effective policies to reduce environmental pollutants across Europe are needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental health; burden of disease; disability-adjusted life years; childhood; Europe environmental health; burden of disease; disability-adjusted life years; childhood; Europe
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Rojas-Rueda, D.; Vrijheid, M.; Robinson, O.; Gunn Marit, A.; Gražulevičienė, R.; Slama, R.; Nieuwenhuijsen, M. Environmental Burden of Childhood Disease in Europe. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1084.

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