Pollution and the Children
Children are especially susceptible to air pollution.
“The health risk from air pollution is as much as six times greater for children than for adults.”
Medical Researchers at the University of California at Irvine“Exposures to building products, furnishings and materials that have toxic potential, as well as poor ventilation in schools, affect all children to some degree. It is becoming more and more evident that the central nervous system is particularly vulnerable to exposures to many toxicants and that these can affect both learning and behavioral abilities in subtle but serious ways.”
B. McElgunn, Learning Disabilities Association of Canada
This exposure can lead to invisible damage to our children’s health. We are learning what the effects low level, long term exposure are. Often this invisible damage is done slowly over time with no awareness of what harm is being done until a significant problem occurs.
“Cancer now kills more children under the age of fourteen than any other disease.”
The Environmental Working Group, Washington, D.C.
“Eighty to ninety percent of all cancers are caused by environmental rather than genetic factors.”
The International Agency for Research on Cancer“Health symptoms of chemical exposure such as headaches, breathing problems, itchy and watery nose and eyes, intestinal problems, fatigue, and coughing are often misdiagnosed as colds and flu. Behavioral symptoms of chemical exposure such as mood swings, aggressiveness, and hyperactivity are often seen as normal.”
Dr. Gerald Ross, Past President the American Academy of Environmental Medicine“Chemicals have replaced bacteria and viruses as the main threat to health. The diseases we are beginning to see as the major causes of death in the latter part of this century and into the 21st century are diseases of chemical origin.”
Dr. Dick Irwin, Toxicologist, Texas A&M Universities
We do not know how many children are affected by poor school ventilation and toxic exposure, but as Health Canada’s ISSUES paper on environmental sensitivities states: “Prevention is the most important and simplest aspect of this problem.”
“We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us.”Sir Winston Churchill
A safe building, with plenty of fresh, clean air is as important to a good education as is a good curriculum and good teaching.
“What is the cost of not doing this? What is the cost of doing this? It is much less expensive to prevent harm and injury than it is to attempt to regain health once it is lost.”
Dr. Gerald H. Ross. Past President, American Academy of Environmental Medicine
In Schools Where Environmentally Safe Classrooms are in Use, This Is What Is Being Found:
- Increased Attendance. If they feel better they go more often.
- Increased academic ratings. C’s go up to A’s or B’s.
- Decreased allergies and secondary infections.
- Decreased need for home teaching.
- Decreased need for special classrooms, resource rooms, and resource teachers.
- Decreased stress on students, parents, teachers, etc.
- Increased well being for students.
- Decreased school expenditures.
Healthy School Handbook, US National Education Association
– Citizens for A Safe Learning Environment