Babies in Strollers Breathe Up to 60 Percent More Dangerous Air Pollution Than Adults
A study published in Environment International by the Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) at the University of Surrey found that babies pushed in strollers can be exposed to up to 60 percent more air pollution than adults.
"We know that infants breathe in higher amounts of airborne particles relative to their lung size and body weight compared to adults. When you also consider how vulnerable they are because of their tissues, immune systems and brain development at this early stage of their life, it is extremely worrying that they are being exposed to these dangerous levels of pollution."
The study found that vehicle exhaust pipes are usually located around 1 meter (approximately 1.09 yards) above ground level, and most babies in strollers are positioned between 0.55 meters (approximately 0.6 yards) and 0.85 meters (approximately 0.93 yards) above ground level.
Infants travelling at that height can be exposed to particulate matter, black carbon, nitrogen oxides and toxic metals. The study comes as concerns about the impact of polluted air on children's health in the UK have been growing.
In July, newly revealed documents surrounding the death of a nine-year-old girl from asthma in 2013 showed her attacks were associated with spikes in illegal air pollution levels near her London home. While air pollution in the UK is linked to 40,000 premature deaths a year, hers could be the first officially listed as such on her death certificate.