For the past six months, children from countries like the USA, the UK, India, and China have been crying out for clean air to breathe. Freedom to Breathe is a campaign led by Blueair in collaboration with Global Action Plan, Coalition for Clean Air, Centre for Environment Education, and Safekids Worldwide. Now, the petition has reached 29,674 signatures from all over the world.
A survey has estimated that 9 of 10 children inhale toxic air that goes past safety levels and can lead to critical cases of organ development in children.
The young bodies of children are very vulnerable to toxic air. This is because the composition of a child’s body makes it easier for them to be exposed to air pollution as their breathing rate is faster than adults.
UNICEF predicts that by 2050, air pollution will be one of the major reasons for child mortality. At the same time, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that over 600,000 children died from air pollution in 2016 alone.
This campaign’s goal is to let the committee of UNCRC realize that children have every right to clean air.
According to the CEO of Global Action Plan, Sonja Graham, change will happen now that the Committee of UNCRC has supported the petition. This acknowledgment signifies a step to a brighter future.
The CEO also added that through the Freed to Breathe campaign, the children will realize that clean air is an essential factor in a human’s life. Just like clean water and good food, clean air is also a necessity, and that the organization is delighted to be given an opportunity to be heard.
“Children are prone to contaminated air, and that would cause great problems on a child’s growth development, and the body is very sensitive during the growth stage. Therefore, dirty air can affect the development of a child’s internal organs, may it be the brain, lungs, or other tissues,” said Edward Avol, co-author of the USC children’s study.
The author also added that children are very active compared to adults, so they may not understand how to loosen up when breathing dirty air. Research also suggests that the damage caused by air pollution may be permanent. Therefore, cleaning the polluted air should be a priority to prevent more children from suffering.
Ella became the first person whose death was caused by air pollution in the UK. The UK has tried to follow WHO air quality standards.
Air pollution isn’t just an occurrence in a few countries. It is also a global pandemic, and we must do everything to stop it as soon as possible.