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8 May 2006 | Printer friendly

WHO publication on the effects of air pollution on children

Concerns about the adverse effects of air pollution on children’s health and development are important determinants of environmental and public health policies. To be effective, they must be based on the best available evidence and research. The 2005 publication by WHO, “Effects of air pollution on children’s health and development”, presents an assessment of research data gathered over the last decade, and provides conclusions concerning the risks posed by ambient air pollutants to various aspects of children’s health.

The authors of this evaluation, constituting a WHO Working Group, comprise leading scientists active in epidemiology, toxicology and public health. They summarize research into the effects of air pollution common in contemporary European cities on infant health, the development of lung function, childhood infections, the development and severity of allergic diseases (including asthma), childhood cancer and neurobehavioural development. On all of these health issues, the Working Group formulates conclusions regarding the likelihood of a casual link with air pollution.

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