Air pollution kills 600,000 kids annually mostly in Africa, Asia
Air pollution kills 600,000 kids annually mostly in Africa, Asia
Ed Miliband with his wife Justine Thornton and their children Daniel and Samuel in 2015
01 November, 2018, 21:33
The report said "The problem is most severe in low and middle-income countries, primarily nations in Africa, Southeast Asia, the eastern Mediterranean and western Pacific".
According to him, air pollution also affects neuro - development and cognitive ability and can trigger asthma, and childhood cancer. The report noted that about 98 per cent of children in the same age group in low and middle-income countries were exposed to air pollution.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO's director general, last week called air pollution the "new tobacco" in terms of public health priorities. Children are particularly vulnerable to illnesses from toxic air because they breathe faster than adults.
Among the World Health Organization report other findings are data indicating that pregnant women are more likely to give birth prematurely when they are exposed to dirty air.
The report says switching to clean cooking and heating fuels and technologies could save the lives of many children. "But there are many straight-forward ways to reduce emissions of risky pollutants", said Maria Neira, Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health at WHO.
"Newborns and young children are also more susceptible to household air pollution".
Meanwhile, steps to minimise children's exposure to polluted air could include schools and playgrounds being located away from major sources of air pollution like busy roads, factories and power plants, the health body said.
Chris Malley, co-author and SEI Research Fellow at the University of York, added: "SEI were co-investigators and helped to initiate the research, highlighting the possibilities of performing a global study, further quantifying the air pollution impacts on health". The American Public Health Association (15) and WHO (16) have proposed approaches for using the precautionary principle to protect children from environmental risks such as air pollution.
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"As the world gets hotter and more crowded, our engines continue to pump out dirty emissions and half of the world has no access to clean fuels or technologies like stove or lamps".
The report also urges all countries to work towards WHO's air quality guidelines by implementing policies that will reduce air pollution.
Air pollution can also harm ecosystems by damaging soil, forests, lakes and rivers as well as reducing crop yields.
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