Smog: 7 consequences of pollution on children’s health

Smog and pollution, their health consequences are more and more serious and mainly affect children , in all their fragility. The diseases caused by smog in children are unfortunately a growing phenomenon, even in Italy, starting from respiratory allergies, up to eye irritations, not to mention the diseases related to industrial pollution, such as the accumulation of lead in the blood of the youngest .

In Europe there are 10 times the deaths from smog on the road, a sign that should seriously lead us to take action to reduce pollution.


  • Childhood asthma
  • Lung cancer
  • Lead in the blood
  • Conjunctivitis and eye allergies
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Autism

Childhood asthma

Childhood asthma, smog affects children like passive smoking . Pollution may be hiding behind the rise in childhood asthma cases over the past few years. After monitoring the incidence of asthma in ten European cities, scientists found that exposure to smog has roughly the same effects as exposure to secondhand smoke. According to recent research , 14% of cases of chronic childhood asthma are caused by exposure to pollution from city traffic.

Read also: Childhood asthma: smog affects as much as passive smoking

Lung cancer

The correlation between smog and lung cancer has now been confirmed by a historic WHO ruling . What is most worrying is that serious lung diseases caused by pollution affect increasingly young people, even reaching children. Emblematic is the case of Chinese girl suffering from lung cancer just eight years. The sad record of China makes us immediately think of the Italian situation. From the heavy pollution of our metropolises to the Ilva of Taranto .

Read also: Smog causes lung cancer and heart attacks: confirmation arrives

Lead in the blood

Children are among the most fragile victims affected by the pollution caused by Ilva in Taranto. The complaint arose from some pediatricians from Taranto regarding the presence of sources of lead in the environment, to which the youngest ones are particularly exposed. Water, land and air are poisoned. Between 22 and 36 micrograms of lead have been identified in the blood of children residing in the Statte district, close to the industrial area of ​​Taranto . According to pediatricians, any level of lead in childhood can be associated with possible neuropsychic outcomes .

Read also: Ilva: lead in the blood of the children of Taranto

Conjunctivitis and eye allergies

Urban smog and pollution can cause serious eye disease in children. A study recently conducted on children between 1 and 12 years of age residing in Milan found that 42% of young patients suffer from redness and itching, pain, tears and secretions in the eyes. These are symptoms caused precisely by smog and pollution. Experts already speak of a new clinical entity called Urban Eye Allergy , an eye allergy that affects children living in the city due to the high pollution rate.

Read also: Urban conjunctivitis: smog causes allergies in children’s eyes

Respiratory diseases

The respiratory diseases are on the rise due to pollution, smog and climate change. They can affect everyone, starting with the weakest patients, including children, especially if they are already subject to episodes of allergic rhinitis . Among the respiratory diseases caused by pollution, experts include COPD , chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the aggravation of the symptoms of flu, cold, asthma, bronchitis and tonsillitis .

Read also: Respiratory diseases on the rise due to smog and climate change

Atopic dermatitis

The atopic dermatitis is an increasingly common disorder in Europe, especially among children under five years. One in two children would be affected in more or less serious and visible forms. According to WHO, most childhood diseases in Europe should be traced back to the unhealthy and unhealthy environment in which children find themselves living. Atopic dermatitis is classified as the most widespread of the skin pathologies found in children.

Read also: Atopic dermatitis: increases in children. Smog and pollution under accusation


Smog and autism , a combination not to be underestimated. Breathing nitrogen dioxide and fine particles during pregnancy and in the first year of life of the newborn increases the risk of developing autism . According to experts, exposure to pollution is a source of risk for both unborn children and newborn babies. Recent studies have revealed that children who lived in the most polluted areas had three times more chances of getting autism than children living in areas less prone to smog.

Leave a Comment