Any mommy knows about the benefits of daily walks and fresh air for her crumbs. Indeed, it is difficult to overestimate the positive impact on children's health of these two major factors. However, not everyone thinks that today the urban ecology is very far from ideal: air, water, soil, plants - everything is very polluted. Therefore, I think it would be useful to find out what exactly threatens our and children's health in modern megacities, and whether it is possible to defend oneself from this.
The main environmental polluters are industrial enterprises, including thermal power plants, metallurgical and chemical plants, as well as transport. Different researchers estimate the share of these sources differently, but everyone agrees that they all constantly emit huge amounts of harmful substances into the air. According to some estimates, more than 20% of the world's population breathe almost poisoned air.And, above all, this concerns residents of large cities, where, in fact, the above pollutants are concentrated.
What do we breathe?
Remember, in school, we were taught that “air is a natural mixture of gases, mainly nitrogen and oxygen, which constitute the earth’s atmosphere”? Even 60–70 years ago it was so, but today, alas, the “natural” in it is less and less, and unnatural, respectively, more and more. Among the latter, we are all and, what is most terrible, our children breathe deeply the following harmful substances.
All known carbon dioxide (CO2).Of course, this is natural gas for the atmosphere, but recently it has been contained there in unnaturally large quantities, which leads to global climate warming with all the negative consequences that this entails.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2). In nature, it also contains, but in small quantities (part of the volcanic gases). Industrial enterprises emit it up to 170 million tons per year. It should be noted that this is a very toxic gas that affects the respiratory organs, liver, cardiovascular and bone systems. Sulfur dioxide is highly soluble in water,this means that if there is a lot of it in the air, then when rain falls on your head (and not only) not just water will drip, but sulfuric acid, the benefits of which, to put it mildly, are few.
Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)It is also found in nature as part of volcanic gases and mineral waters. This is a poisonous gas: its maximum permissible concentration is 0.01 mg / l, doses higher than 1 mg / l are lethal. True, for the sake of fairness, it should be noted that such dangerous concentrations are encountered mainly in certain industries, but it will not add health to smaller quantities either to us or our crumbs. This gas irritates the mucous membranes of the eyes and respiratory tract, causes conjunctivitis, corneal edema, catarrh (inflammation of the mucous membranes with their edema, the formation and secretion of fluid - exudate) of the upper respiratory tract, affects the central nervous and circulatory systems.
Carbon disulfide (CS2).Toxic effect is expressed in the lesion of the cardiovascular and nervous systems.
Oxides of nitrogen (N2O, NO, N2O3, NO2)adversely affect the eyes and lungs, with severe poisoning can lead to pulmonary edema. The annual amount of nitrogen oxides entering the atmosphere is about 20 million tons.
Fluorine compoundsalso highly toxic.The atmosphere is present mainly in the form of gaseous compounds: hydrogen fluoride (H2F2), microscopic crystals of sodium fluoride (NaF) and calcium (CaF2).
Chlorine compoundsare in the air as an admixture of chlorine and hydrochloric acid vapors. Toxicity varies depending on the type of compound and its concentration.
In addition to the above, we daily inhale compounds of arsenic, phosphorus, antimony, lead, mercury vapors, particles of rare metals, resin substances, hydrogen cyanide and, God knows, something else.
There is evidence that every year about 11 cubic meters are emitted into the atmosphere of our planet. km of dust particles of artificial origin. Being there in suspension, with mild, humid weather, they form smog, or photochemical fog. Easily penetrating into the human body, the harmful substances present in the smog gradually destroy the respiratory and circulatory systems. Prolonged breathing with polluted air can lead to the development of asthma, enlarged tonsils and even lung cancer.
To a large extent, this factor affects people with poor health and children, whose immune system has not yet been completely formed.Smog can cause them diseases of the upper and lower respiratory tract, such as, for example, inflammation of the larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs.
How to reduce the harmful effects
The cardinal way to solve this problem is to change the place of residence so that the child can breathe fresh air, which is an important factor in the proper development of the body. It is clear that not everyone can go for it. But a few weeks spent in clean terrain will allow the child’s airway to rest and cleanse. You should try to surround the kids with natural materials, because volatile chemical compounds - contained, for example, in pieces of furniture, in the production of which adhesives and plastics were used - additionally load the respiratory organs. Useful devices that regulate the humidity in the room.
On foggy days, spend as little time as possible in the air and avoid considerable physical exertion. When compiling a child’s menu, one should be aware of products containing zinc and selenium: they prevent the deposition of heavy metals in the body, such as lead, cadmium and mercury.Immunity is also enhanced by the consumption of products containing vitamin C and copper.
Ozone not only protects
At a height of several kilometers above the ground, ozone forms a layer that protects living organisms from ultraviolet radiation, but this gas itself is dangerous to our health.
The rapid increase in the number of people suffering from cancer, allergies, diseases of the respiratory tract and circulatory system is attributed to this chemical element.
At the surface of the Earth, ozone is formed from nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons (combustion products) under the influence of solar radiation. The highest concentration of ozone in the air we breathe can be observed between the end of March and the beginning of September in clear and sunny weather. High pressure and a stable temperature of about 22 ° C with a weak wind contribute to the accumulation of ozone, since the movement of substances necessary for its synthesis to the upper atmosphere is difficult. Interestingly, more of this gas accumulates outside the city limits.
The World Health Organization has determined the limits of the average hourly concentration of ozone - they range from 150 to 200 micrograms of ozone per cubic meter of air.
Ozoneaffects the airways and lungs.Symptoms of ozone poisoning can be coughing attacks, headaches, redness of the throat, feeling of stuffiness, watery eyes, fatigue, inflammation of the nasal mucosa. For children, ozone is especially dangerous because they breathe more intensely than adults, due to which babies can inhale more of this gas. The resistance of the affected lung tissue is reduced, making it easier for pollen and other allergens to enter the body. Increases the likelihood of various infections. If meteorological centers predict an increase in the concentration of ozone in the air, one should limit exposure to air between 11.00 and 17.00. If staying outdoors is unavoidable, you should try to breathe through your nose, because with this, ozone enters the body by 40% less. In the morning and in the evening you need to thoroughly air the room, and during the day keep the windows and doors closed.
Ultraviolet and infrared radiation
When playing sports and performing physical exercises outdoors, as well as during games in nature, children are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. The sun's rays affect the genetic material of the skin.Damage to cells means a weakening of the immune system, since the skin ceases to be a reliable barrier to bacteria and viruses (skin sensitivity decreases with age).
From 11.00 to 15.00, when solar radiation is most intense, children should not stay in the sun. You should treat the skin with a cream containing filters of ultraviolet radiation, as well as remember to use headgear. Fun in the air should be arranged from 09.00 to 11.00. The sun's rays then contain the greatest amount of infrared radiation, which is good for the skin and has a warming effect. At the same time, it is recommended to sunbathe. The best period for outdoor games is from 15.00 to 18.00. And the most suitable places for walking are parks, remote from major highways, and elevated parts of the terrain - this is where the minimum number of pollutants accumulates.