Air Pollution and Development of Children's Pulmonary Function

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionarypeer-review


Individual susceptibility to air pollution varies in correlation with the overall health condition of an individual. However, newborns and children are especially vulnerable to ambient air pollution due to the unique developmental status of their respiratory system, the relatively large amount of gaseous exchange, and an elevated level of outdoor activity, thus becoming a group at particular risk. Air pollutants known to affect the development of children's pulmonary function include: ozone (O3), particulate matters (PMs, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and elemental carbon (C). The present article discusses performance measures commonly used to estimate the effect of air pollution on children's pulmonary function, short- and long-term effects of air pollution on children's health, and several methodological issues associated with measuring air pollution effects on children, such as exposure-response relationship, appropriate study design, and ecological fallacy. Implications for public health policy are summarized in brief in the concluding section of the article.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Environmental Health
EditorsJerome Nriagu
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780444522726
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Air pollution
  • Asthma
  • Children
  • Nutrition deficiency
  • Respiratory symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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