An 11-year-old from Warsaw suffers from smog. This is probably the first patient with such a statement. The boy has been complaining of coughing and shortness of breath for years during the heating season. There were many suspicions of diseases. Finally, in the medical records, the doctor wrote that the ailments are related to air pollution. Łukasz Wieczorek (“Poland and the World”) about another proof of how dangerous smog is.
The mother of the 11-year-old wishes to remain anonymous. He talks about his son, who from birth in autumn and winter suffered from cough, acute inflammation of the nose and throat, and otitis media.
– These symptoms were so troublesome that, among other things, we had to remove his tonsils – says the woman.
The last visit to the doctor leaves no illusions. Previous assumptions that it was allergies or other diseases turned out to be incorrect.
“I heard the diagnosis: suspected bronchial hyperreactivity and allergies due to air pollution,” the boy’s mother continues.
The first such diagnosis
This is the first diagnosis of its kind. So far, of course, the relationships between the impact of smog and health have been proven, but we have not had black and white information in the medical diagnosis that smog is the direct factor causing such conditions – notes Weronika Michalak, director of Heal Polska. The parents were referred for the child to the pulmonology ward for a more detailed diagnosis.
– During this diagnostics, spirometry, allergy tests again, it turns out that the son does not show any overreactivity to the markers that are used in diagnostics so far – says the mother of the 11-year-old.
So, it’s not an allergy.
Liquidation of cinderellas and the number of asthmatics
– A very large study by Professor Ewa Czarnobilska from Krakow, on 75,000 children over 10 years, showed that with the improvement of air quality in Krakow, i.e. with the liquidation of almost 40,000 boilers in the capital of Lesser Poland, the percentage of asthmatic children dropped from 25 to 9 percent – quotes Piotr Siergiej from the Polish Smog Alert.
Doctors have been talking about the relationship between smog and health for a long time, but until today, most likely, no one has written it down in the patient’s document.
– We hope that this first diagnosis will be an encouragement for other doctors to make similar diagnoses or at least to analyze this smog factor – continues Weronika Michałek, director of Heal Polka.
– I’m tired of treating the symptoms, the diseases of my son, my children in general, because it is also not conducive to health. Taking antibiotics, which are a completely wrong solution in this case – complains Maciek’s mother.
The fight against smog
The fight against smog has been going on for years and will probably not end soon. – We should move away from burning coal and solid fuels as soon as possible, follow the issue of waste incineration very closely and implement the energy transformation as soon as possible – argues Weronika Michałek.
Activists, including representatives of Parents for Climate, are calling for a quick reaction from the government.
“We believe that the Ministry of Health can no longer pretend that nothing is happening. Extensive research is needed to check how much Polish children have already suffered. Living in a country with the dirtiest air in the European Union” – they appeal.
We asked, what about the health department? We have not received an answer yet. The matter is serious, because smog harms children the most.
– Suspended particulates tend to fall towards the surface of the earth, which means that small children de facto inhale higher concentrations, which fall on much smaller surfaces of the respiratory system – believes Dr. hab. n. med. Tadeusz M. Zielonka, specialist in lung and internal medicine, employee of the Medical University of Warsaw and the Czerniakowski Hospital.
In the last heating season, out of 211 surveyed towns, 180 did not meet the recommendations of the World Health Organization regarding the maximum number of days with smog
Main photo source: TVN24