NYMC > News and Events > News Archives

Dr. Heather Brumberg Co-Lead Authors American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on Effects of Ambient Air Pollution on Children’s Health

Air pollution has been shown to worsen a multitude of chronic diseases

June 23, 2021
Heather L. Brumberg, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, professor of pediatrics and of clinical public health headshot
Heather L. Brumberg, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP

"We know that infants and children are uniquely sensitive to air pollution because their bodies are developing. They also breathe in more air in relation to their body weight than adults do," said Dr. Brumberg. "We have seen that in 'natural experiments' where efforts to decrease traffic during the1996 and 2008 Olympics, for instance both air quality and resultant community health improved. We must continue to more consciously work toward improving air quality."

Air pollution has been shown to worsen chronic diseases such as asthma and is associated with preterm births, abnormal lung and neurodevelopment, pediatric cancer, obesity and cardiovascular disease risk.

“Air quality is something we take for granted. We don't always realize how much it affects our health, climate and thus the life of the planet," said Dr. Brumberg. "Pediatricians can help make changes, small and big, with education and advocacy on behalf of children."