Expert reactions to World Health Organisation (WHO) report on the links between exposure to air pollution and adverse health effects in children.
Dr Stefan Reis, Science Area Head – Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects, NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), said:
“This report highlights how the development and well-being of children and young adults are affected by ambient air pollution, often at low levels of exposure. These findings are supported by a growing, robust body of literature and scientific studies. They indicate, that reducing population exposure and adopting more stringent air quality limit values would not only improve public health in the short term, but have long-term benefits in reducing adverse impacts on lung growth and cognitive development from an early age.
“Current guideline values of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), for instance, are set at 10 µg m-3, much lower than existing regulations in Europe or the UK (25 µg m-3). So far, only Scotland has adopted the WHO guideline value, with the US aiming to attain an annual mean of 12 µg m-3.”
Dr Stefan Reis: “No conflict of interest.”