MOCELIN, Helena Teresinha; FISCHER, Gilberto Bueno; BUSH, Andrew. Adverse early-life environmental exposures and their repercussions on adult respiratory health. Jornal de Pediatria (Rio de Janeiro), Porto Alegre, [online], v. 98, supl. 1, p. 86-95, 2022. Disponível em Scielo

Objective: To review in the literature the environmental problems in early life that impact the respiratory health of adults. Sources: Non-systematic review including articles in English. Search filters were not used in relation to the publication date, but the authors selected mainly publications from the last five years. Summary of the findings: In this review, the authors present the exposure pathways and how the damage occurs depending on the child’s stage of development; the authors describe the main environmental pollutants – tobacco smoke, particulate matter, air pollution associated with traffic, adverse childhood experiences and socioeconomic status; the authors present studies that evaluated the repercussions on the respiratory system of adults resulting from exposure to adverse environmental factors in childhood, such as increased incidence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma and allergies; and, a decline in lung function. The authors emphasize that evidence demonstrates that adult respiratory diseases almost always have their origins in early life. Finally, the authors emphasize that health professionals must know, diagnose, monitor, and prevent toxic exposure among children and women. Conclusion: The authors conclude that it is necessary to recognize risk factors and intervene in the period of greatest vulnerability to the occurrence of harmful effects of environmental exposures, to prevent, delay the onset or modify the progression of lung disease throughout life and into adulthood.