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Children suffering from air pollution - WHO

Tuesday October 30th, 2018

Nearly two billion children breathe heavily polluted air every day, the World Health Organisation has reported.

The number represents 93% of children under the age of 15.

WHO blames toxic air for a heavy toll on children’s health. According to its latest report, in 2016 as many as 661,000 children from acute lower respiratory infections caused by this.

Two thirds of these deaths were caused by household pollution, linked to the use of open stoves, WHO’s researchers say.

The total number of children exposed to excessive levels of air pollution is 1.8 billion, it says.

According to its report on air pollution and child health, unclean air has a big impact on pregnant women, triggering premature birth and children born underweight.

It also has an impact on neurodevelopment and cognitive ability and can trigger asthma and cancer, WHO says.

The report says that in high income countries 52% of children under the age of five are exposed to levels of air pollution about WHO guidelines. In poorer countries, this increases to 98%.

WHO says that small children are especially vulnerable because they are closer to the ground than adults – and breathe more rapidly.

WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Polluted air is poisoning millions of children and ruining their lives.

“This is inexcusable. Every child should be able to breathe clean air so they can grow and fulfil their full potential.”

http://www.who.int/ceh/publications/air-pollution-child-health/en/

Tags: Child Health | Respiratory | World Health

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