Photo: Flickr.com / Tor Lindstrand CC BY-SA

More than 90% of the world’s children breathe toxic air every day

Every day around 93 per cent (1.8 billion) of the world’s children under the age of 15 years breathe air that is so polluted it puts their health and development at serious risk. For the year 2016, the WHO estimates that 600,000 children died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air.

A new WHO report “Air pollution and child health: Prescribing clean air” examines the heavy toll of both ambient (outside) and household air pollution on the health of the world’s children, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. It reveals that when pregnant women are exposed to polluted air, they are more likely to give birth prematurely, and have smaller children with lower birth weight. Air pollution also impacts on neurodevelopment and cognitive ability and can trigger asthma and childhood cancer. Children who have been exposed to high levels of air pollution may be at greater risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease later in life.

Source: WHO News Release, 29 October 2018 The report: http://www.who.int/ceh/publications/air-pollution-child-health/en/

 

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