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Infants, Air Pollution, and Lung Disease

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Emerging research supports the current understanding that infant exposure to air pollution has long-lasting effects on their lungs. Not only does lung capacity decrease for teenagers who were exposed to air pollution as infants, but they are also at much greater risk of developing asthma (The Guardian, August 24, 2020). In fact, this increased risk of asthma occurred even when air pollution levels were lower than legal limits set by the government! A researcher from the University of Copenhagen commented at a recent conference, “The fact that we found a link with asthma, even at relatively low levels of exposure, suggests that there is no safe threshold for air pollution.”

Early research during the coronavirus pandemic indicates that the greatest number of deaths from the virus seemed to occur in areas of the world with the highest rates of air pollution (The Guardian, April 20, 2020). In fact, one researcher noted that “long-term exposure to this pollutant [nitrogen dioxide, a chemical present in air pollution] may be one of the most important contributors to fatality caused by the Covid-19 virus in these regions and maybe across the whole world.”

The Apostle Paul observed that “the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (Romans 8:22). Our planet looks forward to a time when it “will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (v. 21). The real hope for humanity and creation is the return of Jesus Christ, who will establish His Kingdom on earth and make pollution, and other societal woes, a thing of the past. To learn more about this awesome future time, read The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?