How Household Air Pollution Can Lead to Childhood Pneumonia
Category: News and Updates , • January 10, 2020

Indoor air quality should, of course, be a concern for everyone. But those who reside in homes with children should be especially careful to attend to their air quality, as children are often far more susceptible than adults to respiratory complications.

In fact, in 2017, Save the Children — an organization dedicated to protecting and improving the lives of children around the world — published a report identifying indoor air pollution as an important risk factor for childhood pneumonia.

According to the report, “young children breathe twice as quickly as adults, so they take in more air relative to their body weight. Their respiratory tracts are more permeable, and therefore, more vulnerable, and their immune systems are weaker.”

But while the report focused largely on the morbidity rates of children in India, the issue at hand is not isolated to any one country.

Reports today show that in areas that are home to families of lower socioeconomic backgrounds, children under the age of five are particularly vulnerable to pneumonia, and the results can be fatal.

“The high number of deaths from pneumonia can also be linked to poverty,” a 2019 study recently affirmed. “Exposure to indoor air pollution increases the risk of pneumonia in children, accounting for about a million deaths globally.”

With all of this in mind, it’s important to understand what types of indoor air pollution can lead to childhood pneumonia.

Pneumonia, or inflammation and infection of the lungs, is caused “predominantly but not solely by bacteria, viruses, and fungi,” according to the aforementioned study.

In this case, it is of the utmost importance that homeowners take the necessary steps to prevent growth and mitigate the circulation of biological contaminants, such as mold. Maintaining a clean HVAC system and installing a dehumidifier in your home may be one of the simplest and most direct solutions to this form of air pollution.

Otherwise, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also identified wood smoke (with regard to stoves, ovens, and fireplaces), as well as tobacco smoke as key contaminants that may prompt recurring bouts of pneumonia to those exposed. Thus, ensuring your home is properly ventilated and fueled by clean energy sources may also decrease your child’s risk of contracting pneumonia.

Overall, air pollution-related pneumonia is entirely preventable, as well as treatable. If you have further questions about how to maintain or optimize your indoor air quality, Luce Air Quality is ready to empower you with expert answers. Contact us today by calling 904-803-1014 and we guarantee you’ll be provided with solutions you can trust!