While it has long been known that air pollution can trigger and exacerbate a wide range of respiratory conditions, a new study reveals the particularly troubling extent to which poor air quality puts children at risk. The research, conducted by the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, demonstrates that exposure to air pollutants during infancy can result in reduced lung function by school age. It also shows that children who have lived, during the first few years of their lives, in areas with increased concentrations of air pollutants run a greater risk of developing allergies and protracted lower airway obstruction symptoms.
The findings are especially worrisome as outdoor air pollution is a chief cause of indoor air pollution -- potentially putting infants and small children at risk even as they sleep and play. According to the study, children exposed to the most particles suffered more than a 20 percent reduction in lung function. “Previous research has indicated that children are extra sensitive to the negative effects of air pollutants and our study suggests that early exposure in life can be particularly harmful,” says Professor Göran Pershagen of the Institute.
What the findings, presented at the recent Allergistämman (“Allergy Meeting”) event in Gothenburg, Sweden, make clear is the need for improved indoor air quality, keeping dangerous particles out of the air young children breath, and keeping the risks -- and the resulting harm -- at bay.
The good news is that today’s cutting-edge air filtration technology -- efforts led by companies like Camfil Farr, the world’s leading provider of clean air solutions -- are designed to keep indoor air healthy, leveraging sophisticated and sustainable products, and in Camfil Farr’s case, a worldwide network of research and development facilities. Camfil Farr engineers and researchers, working out of sites such as the company’s new research center in Trosa Sweden, are developing, testing, and perfecting new air filter designs that not only do a better job of keeping harmful particles out of indoor air, but do so while using less energy than more traditional products.
The result is air that is safer than ever, at a lower cost than ever. Indeed, hospitals, educational institutions, businesses, and other users of Camfil Farr sustainable air filters have seen HVAC energy savings of up to 50 percent. That not only means less expense, but less drain on the natural resources that are used to produce energy.
While the new research highlights the risks poor air quality poses to our children, new clean air technologies, like those developed by Camil Farr, demonstrate how these risks can be tackled -- and the well being of our most precious resource ensured.
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