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Air pollution

Air pollution causes developmental problems in infants, kills 7 million annually

Friday, April 04, 2014 by: L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
Tags: air pollution, developmental problems, death toll

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(NaturalNews) In the quest for energy and increased production, mankind has sabotaged himself, destroying the very air he breathes. Nature's clean, sustainable, free energy sources have been bypassed, as industry empires rise up, shooting pollution from their stacks and skyscraper pipes.

Air quality is often taken for granted. Since people generally breathe involuntarily, they rarely realize what's going into the body, as the lungs shuffle to take in oxygen.

New WHO report finds that 7 million people now die annually due to air pollution

According to a new report from the World Health Organization, air pollution is now causing the deaths of an entire 7 million people annually. The agency pointed out that one in eight deaths worldwide are caused by poor air quality; they believe that pollution is now the greatest environmental risk factor for disease and death. WHO reports that deaths due to poor air quality trumps deaths from AIDS, diabetes and road accidents combined. The agency estimated that nearly 4.3 million deaths in 2012 were actually caused by indoor air pollution, with indoor coal stoves being the greatest danger. The WHO report stated that 40 percent of those deaths come from China alone.

When one breathes polluted air, tiny particles make their way into the lungs and embed deep into the organ, causing irritation and, ultimately, inflammation in the heart.

"Poor women and children pay a heavy price from indoor air pollution since they spend more time at home breathing in smoke and soot from leaky coal and wood cook stoves," said Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director-General for Family, Women and Children's Health.

Each individual is responsible

Frank Kelly, director of the environmental research group at King's College London, believes that it's government's responsibility to curb pollution levels, by relocating power stations away from big cities and by implementing new legislation that encourages cheaper, cleaner alternatives to indoor coal stoves. But can regulations really solve the worldwide air pollution crisis, or have they been part of the problem all along?

How can people around the world reclaim clean, naturally pure air that promotes quality of life?

First, an awakening must occur; an appreciation for life must evolve. The problem must be recognized. An understanding must arise, of the natural harmony and connectedness that air brings as a bond between all forms of life. People must understand that polluted air can be channeled into the womb, affecting precious, developing life.

Transformation to a more pure world starts by treating others with respect, by doing no harm to one's fellow man -- which is the way everyone wants to be treated. This starts with adjusting personal habits -- putting down the carcinogen stick that blows toxic smoke into the room of a pregnant woman. It starts with people who are willing to put down the chemical fragrance perfumes and toxic air disinfectants that are splashed on and sprayed about erroneously and flagrantly.

On a bigger scale, change begins by learning how to obtain free energy from the sun and wind. It means reducing excess, wasteful energy consumption.

New habits include finding ways to reduce one's own exposure to choking fumes by avoiding rush-hour traffic or by reducing work-travel distance. Growing, trading and buying local foods will reduce dependence on long-distance, energy-wasting food travel.

When will the world open up its eyes collectively to the harm it inflicts on itself? How happy and how pure of lives can we really live? Why don't we strive to be all that we can be?

Study shows how air pollution creates developmental problems in infants

A Columbia University study that partnered with Chongqing Medical University linked toxic air pollution to developmental problems in infants beginning in the womb.

The universities studied the health effects that air pollution cast onto mothers and children living near an inefficient coal-fired power plant in China in 2002. The women were all nonsmokers, but they lived near a defunct plant that blasted out air pollution levels eight times greater than the US legal limit. The results were compared with another group of nonsmoking women who gave birth in 2005, after the same power plant had been shut down. These women gave birth in air that was over eight times cleaner.

The researchers found that every single child born in 2002 living near the defunct plant lacked a vital protein needed for proper neurological development. Consequently, these children, exposed to bouts of unclean air, showed diminished learning and memory retention abilities.

Columbia's Deliang Tang, who led the report, concluded, "I wasn't anticipating such a clear difference when we compared the first and second cohorts, and this shows how much of an impact effective policies can have on local populations."

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