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According to Creel (2002) children are more vulnerable to environmental hazards due to their size, physiology, and behaviors. Because children are still growing and developing, they can be more sensitive to the adverse health effects of chemicals than an adult. Children consume frequent water, air, and food; therefore they encounter higher exposures to pathogens and pollutants.
Children’s normal childhood behaviors such as crawling and putting objects in their mouths exposes them to these hazardous chemicals. Children between ages of 5 and 18 years old are more exposed to chemicals found inside and outsides of homes related to the assistance of chores. Indoor and outdoor pollutants are found to be the cause of respiratory infections and diseases. Respiratory infections are the primary cause of child mortality. Although many polices and regulations have assisted in decreasing children’s exposures and risks, it has not been eradicated. There are still undeveloped countries such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America that encounter great risks due to poor sanitation conditions and running water. UNICEF states that 10% of African girls do not attend school during menstruation days due to the lack of sanitary facilities. Exposures to chemicals causes breathing problems, developmental issues, and other diseases (Creel, 2002).
Although everyone is at risks of hazardous chemicals, children are the most affected. Children’s are more vulnerable due to the continuance of growth and greater exposure to these contaminants. We need to protect all children. We need to fight for equal prevalence as well as provide education regarding the risks.
Creel, L. (2002). Children’s Environmental Health: Risks and Remedies. Retrieved from http;//www.prb.org/Publications/Reports/2002/ChildrensEnvironmentalHealthRisksand