The small smoke particles from air pollution, or “PM2.5”, are more than 25 times smaller than the width of a human hair. As air is inhaled, particles enter the body through the nose and mouth. Air passes through the respiratory airway and finally, reaches the alveoli, tiny air sacks in the deepest part of the lung. The smallest of the particles that enter the lungs diffuse through the walls of the alveoli into the bloodstream where they are transported to to all organs of the body where they can affect normal function. Critical organs affected include the lungs immune system, heart and developing brain. The growth rate of the brain is highest around birth but development continues throughout childhood and adolescence playing an important role in child’s memory, attention span, emotional control, and social interaction. Once in a child’s still-developing brain, particulate matter damages brain cells The result – impaired cognitive development and ability to learn that may have severe consequences for welfare and earning potential across the lifespan, and may accumulate resulting in neurodegenerative disease later in life. In addition to harming the brain, exposure of the fetus to air pollution may increase the risk of other diseases across the lifespan including: Protect your children from air pollution