Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

25 June 2017

Air Pollution More Harmful to Children in Cars than Outside, Warns Top Scientist

Mention should also be made of children's exposure to electromagnetic radiation when cell phones are used in cars.  The waves are reflected by the metallic structure and concentrated in a small space, increasing their strength.  The phone emits more powerfully, searching for the nearest antenna.

Children are at risk due to fans sucking fresh exhaust fumes
into the back of the car, says asthma expert Stephen Holgate.
Photo: Mecky/Getty Images
Air pollution more harmful to children in cars than outside, warns top scientist
by Damian Carrington, Environment editor, The Guardian, 12 June 2017

Exclusive: Walking or cycling to school is better for children’s health as cars are ‘boxes collecting toxic gases’ says David King

Opinion: Smoking in cars is banned. But children still inhale toxic fumes in backseats

Children are at risk of dangerous levels of air pollution in cars because exposure to toxic air is often far higher inside than outside vehicles, a former government chief scientific adviser has warned.

Prof Sir David King, writing for the Guardian, says walking or cycling to school would be much better for children’s health. The warning comes as the UK government faces a third legal defeat for failing to tackle the country’s illegal levels of air pollution. Air pollution is known to damage children’s developing lungs but recent research also indicates it harms children’s ability to learn at school and may damage their DNA.

“Children sitting in the backseat of vehicles are likely to be exposed to dangerous levels [of air pollution],” said King. “You may be driving a cleaner vehicle but your children are sitting in a box collecting toxic gases from all the vehicles around you.”

He said new legislation to ban smoking in cars with children had gained widespread support. “So why are we still happy for our children to breathe in toxic emissions in the back of our cars?”

“The best thing for all our health is to leave our cars behind,” said King, who now advises the British Lung Foundation. “It’s been shown that the health benefits of walking and cycling far outweigh the costs of breathing in pollution. If more drivers knew the damage they could be doing to their children, I think they’d think twice about getting in the car.”

A range of experiments, some as far back as 2001, have shown that drivers inside vehicles are exposed to far higher levels of air pollution than those walking or cycling along the same urban routes.

Prof Stephen Holgate, an asthma expert at Southampton University and chair of the Royal College of Physicians working party on air pollution, said there was enough evidence to tell parents that walking and cycling exposes their children to less air pollution than driving.

“It is nine to 12 times higher inside the car than outside,” he said. “Children are in the back of the car and often the car has the fans on, just sucking the fresh exhaust coming out of the car or lorry in front of them straight into the back of the car.”

Children are more vulnerable than adults, he said, because air pollution can stunt the growing of their lungs and because it increases the risk of sensitisation which can lead to asthma and other respiratory conditions.

Holgate said walking or cycling are better when possible, to reduce pollution exposure in cars and to increase physical exercise. He said: “There are multiple benefits to be gained. But parents are confused at the moment because they think there is less pollution in cars than outside, which is not the case.”

Continue reading:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/12/children-risk-air-pollution-cars-former-uk-chief-scientist-warns

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