Online presentation of the consensus document on "Air pollution and health" prepared by the Pediatric Scientific Societies and the Environment and First 1000 Days Working Group.

"The consent document focused on outdoor air pollution, linked to the introduction into the air of polluting substances due to transport, vehicle traffic, domestic heating and obviously also industrial emissions that aggravate the situation. We are therefore talking about pollutants such as atmospheric particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide or ozone", declared Luca Ronfani, of the Maternal and Child IRCCS Burlo Garofolo of Trieste and scientific referent of the project "Environment and first 1000 days", realized with the financial support of the Ministry of Health - CCM.

"The project - adds Ronfani - has made it possible to accurately measure the early exposure to environmental pollutants in children in some cities and evaluated, thanks to the review of the scientific literature, the possible health risks associated with such exposure."

Scientific evidence of the negative effects of air pollution on children's health now clear and convincing with a possible impact on health even at adult age and even transgenerational.

"The WHO global air quality guidelines, published on 22 September, have considerably reduced the limit values ​​for long-term exposure to the most pollutants. harmful to health, especially fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2)", said Francesco Forastiere of Environmental Research Group, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College of London.

The scientific evidence is therefore amply sufficient to immediately adopt clear and concrete measures, at all levels (national and local), to improve quality air and reduce the exposure to air pollution of pregnant women and children, particularly in the very first years of life.

But what if it is true that many of the proven interventions are based on national change that must be decided and led by government institutions, it is equally important to remember how crucial the contribution of citizens is, so that adopt virtuous individual behaviors to help reduce air pollution and improve the health of the population.

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