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Impact of indoor environment on children's pulmonary health.

INTRODUCTION: A child's living environment has a significant impact on their respiratory health, with exposure to poor indoor air quality (IAQ) contributing to potentially lifelong respiratory morbidity. These effects occur throughout childhood, from the antenatal period through to adolescence. Children are particularly susceptible to the effects of environmental insults, and children living in socioeconomic deprivation globally are more likely to breathe air both indoors and outdoors which poses an acute and long-term risk to their health. Adult respiratory health is, at least in part, determined by exposures and respiratory system development in childhood, starting in utero.

AREAS COVERED: This narrative review will discuss, from a global perspective, what contributes to poor IAQ in the child's home and school environment and the impact that indoor air pollution exposure has on respiratory health throughout the different stages of childhood.

EXPERT OPINION: All children have the right to a living and educational environment without the threat of pollution affecting their health. Action is needed at multiple levels to address this pressing issue to improve lifelong respiratory health. Such action should incorporate a child's rights-based approach, empowering children, and their families, to have access to clean air to breathe in their living environment.

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