Exposure to polluted air can delay the development of a child’s lungs, even in the case of fetuses, according to research.

The ever-deteriorating quality of indoor and outdoor air in the world is causing many respiratory distress and diseases. The global death toll from these diseases stands at 8.4 million, with a billion people living with them. By 2050, four billion people are projected to be suffering from respiratory disorders.

Pediatric pulmonologist Dr H Paramesh from Bangalore spoke about the various environmental risk factors in children with disability during the international conference of Commonwealth Association for Health and Disability (COMHAD) and Commonwealth Health Professions Alliance (CHPA) underway in the city. He gave the example of several studies from around the world which proved how badly women and kids are affected by the chemicals present in air.

“Women and children are worst affected by air pollution. Exposure to polluted air delays the development of lungs of a child even when it is still unborn. It is known that there are more than 80,000 chemicals in the world. Only about 1% of them have been studied for their effect on the neuro-physical development of kids,” said Dr Paramesh, who is also a member of the Government of India’s Committee for Macroeconomics and Health.

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