Search Icon
HomeClean Air informationForecastsAboutClean Air calculator


How does air pollution damage my children's health?


A line illustration of a small child reaching up. You can see their lungs and brain. Their is pollution in the air around them.

Children are still developing their organs and immune systems and their smaller bodies and airways make them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water.


Because of their size, children are also often closer to sources of air pollution, like car exhausts, than adults.


Air pollution can play a part in causing asthma for some children. For children who already have asthma, being exposed to more air pollution can increase how bad their symptoms are and how often they have chronic symptoms.


Being exposed to air pollution can also affect children’s lung function development. In areas with high air pollution, it could be setting some children up for health problems throughout their lives.


Research is beginning to point towards effects of air pollution on children’s developing brains, such as reduced memory function, but more research is needed in this area.

In this video, a pupil in an East London school talks about how air pollution makes them feel

In this video, Joe talks about his experience with asthma and how air pollution affects him.

If you would like to find out more about where all the stats, facts and figures have come from, see our references page