Children’s health is increasingly threatened

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burn Fossil fuelsit’s not only bad for ours climate. It’s bad too … for our kids! This is confirmed today by a study conducted by researchers from Columbia University and Stanford University (United States). Children are particularly vulnerable to climate change and air pollution.air. Especially since the two seem to be able to interact to affect health – physical or mental – of the younger. And especially those who are socially or economically disadvantaged.

Researchers cite numerous examples of how the use of fuels fossils can affect children. Did you know, for example, that exposure to heat waves – as the one we are currently experiencing – is associated with an increased risk of premature birth? Did you know that extreme weather events have already displaced more than 50 million children from their homes? Nearly one million in the United States alone by 2020. Did you finally know that about 7.4 million children were exposed to smoke from forest fires that ravaged the United States between 2008 and 2012.

Around air pollution, today it particularly affects one billion children exposed to levels that are considered to be very high. The key reduces the increased risk of mortality, but also of developmental disorders cognition or mental problems.

Adaptation measures in addition to remedial measures

The researchers emphasize the need to now act simultaneously on two fronts. That with adaptation, which aims to protect children. And that with mitigation, which aims to limit the use of fuels fossilsresponsible for both climate change and air pollution.

Adaptation measures include the provision of clean water to children and families facing it droughtimplementation of early warning systems for floods and air pollution or simply the creation of shady living areas. And to fight against the inequalities that exist in fabricspecific climate and pollution measures should be associated with programs to reduce poverty and discrimination.

The researchers also point out that counseling is available to help identify children at particular risk climate change or air pollution. For the risk varies especially depending on whether there is an underlying disease – such as asthma – or geographical location – such as warmer urban areas or those who are more exposed to a risk of flooding. And even of a weakened mental health – of the anxiety that can arise, for example, after being forced to move after a forest fire.

For all these reasons, researchers urge healthcare professionals to pay special attention to children and their families, to screen those who are most vulnerable and to inform them about risks and possible adaptation and mitigation solutions.

Climate change will affect the health of those born today

A report published in the medical journal The Lancet details how climate change will shape the health of children born today. Asthma, stroke, heart risk due to air pollution, effects of malnutrition and infectious diseases due to. global warming will continue into adulthood.

Futura article with AFP-Relaxnews published on 14/11/2019

Asthma and heart risks due to polluted air, infections and malnutrition due to global warming … If nothing is done about climate change, the health of children born today will be increasingly threatened throughout their lives, alarmed experts in a report published Thursday. ” That climate change will define the health of an entire generation “says Dr. Nick watts, responsible for this report. Published in the medical journal The Lancet a few weeks before the international climate conference (COP25) resonates as an echo of the fears that the Swedish Greta Thunberg has become the emblem of the world.

Air pollution will affect children born today

If things stay as they are, with high carbon emissions and climate change continues unabated, a child born today will live in a world 4 degrees warmer on average when they turn 71, threatening their health at all stages of their liveswrite the authors. Children are particularly vulnerable to health risks associated with climate change. Their bodies and immune systems are still evolving, making them more vulnerable to diseases and pollutants argues Dr. Watts from the University of London’s Institute for Global Health.

But the health consequences continue in adulthood “and” last a lifetime “, he emphasizes and asks for a” immediate action from all countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas “.

This report is the 2019 edition of a document published annually by The Lancet. Eligible ” Countdown to health and climate change », It measures 41 key indicators on these two topics and is carried out in collaboration with 35 institutions, including the WHO (World Health Organization), World Bank and universities.

This year, the researchers focus on the health of the youngest. Among their concerns is air pollution. ” Throughoutyouth and until adulthood, a child born today will breathe more toxic air, caused by fossil fuels and exacerbated by rising temperatures “, Provides the report.

Mosquitoes, these vectors of infections

This is especially harmful for young people as their lungs are still developing he adds and lists the potential consequences: Decreased lung function, worsening of asthma and increased risk of heart attack and stroke “According to the report,” global emissions of CO2 from fossil fuels continues to increase (2.6% increase between 2016-2018) “and” premature deaths related to (fine particles) PM 2.5 stagnates at 2.9 million worldwide “.

Another dreaded effect of climate change: the rise in epidemics infectious diseases to which children are particularly susceptible. This is the transition to a warmer climate and with more rain. This would promote the development of bacteria that are responsible for diarrheal diseases or choleraas well as the prevalence of mosquito infection vectors.

Driven by climate change, dengue is the fastest spreading mosquito-borne viral disease in the world “, warns the report.” Nine of the ten best years for transmission of dengue fever has taken place since the year 2000, which has allowed mosquitoes to invade new territories in Europe “, according to the researchers.

Heating should be limited to less than 2 ° C

They are also concerned about the phenomena of malnutrition that temperature rises can cause, leading to a reduction in harvest and therefore an increase in food prices.

Finally, more generally, the authors of the report point out that a child born today will be increasingly exposed to extreme weather events: heat waves, drought, floods or forest fires. These researchers consider it crucial that limit global warming to below 2 ° C as provided for in the Paris Agreement. And claim it the impact of climate change on health is at the forefront of the COP25 agenda “, In early December in Madrid.

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