New Delhi, Nov 15: This Children's Day, the kids of Delhi faced a grim reality--the air in the city has become so polluted that it could kill them anytime soon.
While children across the country had a gala time celebrating the Children's Day on Tuesday, kids in the national capital struggled to breathe properly as the air quality remained "severe" to "hazardous" since last week.
In fact, a latest study published in the Journal of Indian Pediatrics showcases how children of Delhi have become the biggest victims due to the rise in air pollution levels in the national capital.
The study provides powerful evidence that indicates how children growing up in the polluted environment of Delhi have reduced lung growth compared to their counterparts in developed countries like the United States (US).
"Indian children have slower growth of lungs and reach a final size that is smaller than that of children in the US. Both Indian and American children have nearly the same lung size until the age of about 8 years. Later on, the average lung size of Indian children becomes much smaller than American kids. Thus Indian adults, both males, and females have 10 percent smaller lung growth compared to their counterparts in America," says the study.
The study was done by SK Chhabra, former director-professor at Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute and current head of the department of pulmonary medicine, Primus Hospital in Delhi.
"The study highlights that air quality and childhood infections influence lung growth besides genetic factors. Air pollution retards lung growth in Delhi children. Even Indian adults have smaller lungs than their US counterparts. Smaller lungs mean poorer exercise capacity and greater vulnerability to respiratory symptoms and diseases. This is scary knowing that 40 percent of children live in cities which are generally polluted," stated the study.