Fossil fuel combustion endangers children's health in two significant ways: A scientist reviews the evidence

Writing in a commentary in Environmental Health Perspectives, Frederica Perera, director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH), identifies fossil fuel combustion and associated air pollution and carbon dioxide (CO2) as the root cause of much of the ill health of children today. Because of their inherent biological vulnerability, children now bear a disproportionate burden of disease from both pollution and climate change.

Among the conclusions: by reducing air pollution we will see fewer babies born at low birth weight, and fewer children suffering from asthma and neurodevelopmental problems such as lower IQ and ADHD. Lowered emissions of CO2 and mitigation of climate change will reduce the number of children dying as a result of floods and drought, and fewer children will suffer from heat stress, malnutrition, infectious disease, respiratory illness, and mental illness from displacement, social, and political instability.


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