Executive Summary – The Influence of Outdoor and Indoor Air Pollution on Acute Respiratory Response of School Children in China
China has a population of over 1.3 billion people with approximately 300 million school children under the age of 16, making up ⅕of the world’s children. Concerns regarding the adverse health effects from air pollution are escalating with increased risk of mortality and morbidity in respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Clean air is a basic requirement for life, but China’s rapid economic growth, urbanization, and large population present a significant air pollution challenge. Children spend over 85% of their time in their homes and schools where the indoor air quality is influenced by both the outdoor air and household products and furnishings in the home. Because of their time indoors and their physiological differences from adults, children are more susceptible to adverse effects of indoor pollution. Recent studies also indicate that air pollution is connected childhood cognitive development. Decreased exposure to air pollution may be linked to improved childhood developmental scores and brain development. In China to date, there is limited data on indoor air exposure and children’s health and sound scientific studies are needed.