Pollution harmful to babies ' brains

Pollution harmful to babies ' brains

Pollution harmful to babies ' brains

A young child's brain is vulnerable: by a smaller dosage of toxic chemicals, as compared to an adult's; as they breathe more rapidly; and because their physical defences and immunities are not fully developed.

The UN's children's agency, Unicef, said Asia accounts for more than 16 million of the world's 17 million infants aged under one year living in areas with severe pollution - at least six times more than safe levels.

Even as the National Capital and adjoining regions are grappling smog and air pollution for over a month now, the issue has been raised at the highest global level as United Nations worldwide Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has taken a serious view of the situation.

There are 136 million children under the age of 1 globally, which means one in eight are being exposed to toxic air, the United Nations children's fund said.

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A Unicef report states that toxic air severely affects children's brain development and may cause a permanent damage to their brains.

The World Health Organization describes air pollution as a "major environmental risk to health". Contamination above that limit could prove potentially harmful for children, with risks growing as exposure does.

The links of pollution with asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory diseases in the long course are known for a long time.

UNICEF urged more efforts to cut pollution, and also to reduce children's exposure to the poisonous smog which has frequently reached hazardous levels in Indian cities in recent weeks.

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The report recommends wider use of filter masks in developing countries and for children to not be allowed to travel outside during spikes in pollution.

"Protecting children from air pollution not only benefits children", Lake added. Brain development in the first 1,000 days of a child's life influences how they will learn, grow and become "able to do everything that they want and aspire to in life", he said.

The East Asia and Pacific region is home to some 4.3 million babies living in areas with pollution levels at least six times higher than global limits. A further four million are at risk in East Asia and the Pacific.

“Protecting children from air pollution not only benefits children.

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