600,000 Children Are Killed By Air Pollution Annually – WHO


Exposure to toxic air both indoors and out kills some 600,000 children under the age of 15 each year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned Monday.
Data from the UN health body shows that every day, 93 percent of children under the age of 15 — a full 1.8 billion youngsters, including 630 million under the age of five — breath dangerously polluted air.
This has tragic consequences: In 2016 alone, some 600,000 children died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air, the WHO report found.
“Polluted air is poisoning millions of children and ruining their lives,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
“This is inexcusable. Every child should be able to breathe clean air so they can grow and fulfil their full potential.”
According to WHO data, more than nine out of 10 people on the planet breath dangerously toxic air, causing some seven million premature deaths each year.

Air pollution is especially dangerous for children, and accounts for nearly one in 10 deaths among children under five around the globe, the report found.
WHO’s study, which examined the health toll on children breathing health-hazardous levels of both outdoor and household air pollution, focused on dangerous particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5).
These include toxins like sulfate and black carbon, which pose the greatest health risks since they can penetrate deep into the lungs or cardiovascular system.
“Air pollution is stunting our children’s brains, affecting their health in more ways than we suspected,” warned Maria Neira, the head of the WHO’s department of public health and environment.
The UN health body is calling for an acceleration of the switch to clean cooking and heating fuels, and for the promotion of cleaner transportation, lower emissions, and better waste management, among other measures.
“The world needs to reduce the overdependance we have on fossil (fuel), and accelerate to clean, renewable energy,” Neira told reporters in a conference call.

Photo Credit: Getty

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