The Air Quality Index for Loveland, Ohio was in the “Unhealthy” range at 8 AM this morning and approaching the “Very Unhealthy category.
Do I need to be concerned?
It’s always smart to pay attention to your air quality, but it’s especially true for people who may be at greater risk. They include:
• People with heart disease.
• People with lung disease, including asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
• Older adults.
• Children and teenagers because their lungs are still developing, and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults.
• Pregnant people.
• Minority populations.
• Outdoor workers
Loveland, Ohio – Children face special risks from air pollution because their lungs are growing and because they are so active and breathe in a great deal of air according to the American Lung Association.
“Just like the arms and legs, the largest portion of a child’s lungs will grow long after he or she is born. Eighty percent of their tiny air sacs develop after birth. Those sacs, called the alveoli, are where the life-sustaining transfer of oxygen to the blood takes place. The lungs and their alveoli aren’t fully grown until children become adults. In addition, the body’s defenses that help adults fight off infections are still developing in young bodies. Children have more respiratory infections than adults, which also seems to increase their susceptibility to air pollution. Furthermore, children don’t behave like adults, and their behavior also affects their vulnerability. They are outside for longer periods and are usually more active when outdoors. Consequently, they inhale more polluted outdoor air than adults typically do.”
Continuing reading from the American Lung Association…
Air Pollution Affects Children Before They Are Born
Several studies have found air pollution linked to harm to children while they are still in the womb. A large study in California found that higher particle pollution levels increased the risk of preterm birth. Pregnant women exposed to even low levels of particle pollution had higher risk for preterm birth in a Boston study. Preterm births occurred more frequently when particle pollution spiked, as an Australian study found, even when they controlled for other risk factors.
Air Pollution Limits Lung Growth in Children
The Southern California Children’s Health study looked at the long-term effects of air pollution on children and teenagers. Tracking 1,759 children who were between ages 10 and 18 from 1993 to 2001, researchers found that those who grew up in more polluted areas face the increased risk of having reduced lung growth, which may never recover to their full capacity. The average drop in lung function was similar to the impact of growing up in a home with parents who smoked.
Community health studies are pointing to less obvious, but serious effects from year-round exposure to ozone, especially for children. Scientists followed 500 Yale University students and determined that living just four years in a region with high levels of ozone and related co-pollutants was associated with diminished lung function and frequent reports of respiratory symptoms. Another earlier report from the Children’s Health study of 3,300 schoolchildren in Southern California found reduced lung function in girls with asthma and boys who spent more time outdoors in areas with high levels of ozone.