1.8 billion children breathe toxic air which kills 600,000, World Health Organization says

1.8 billion children breathe toxic air which kills 600,000, World Health Organization says

1.8 billion children breathe toxic air which kills 600,000, World Health Organization says

Parents should try to avoid household air pollution by using less polluting fuels for cooking and heating and not smoking but to reduce child exposure to ambient pollution they should need to lobby politicians to clean up the environment, World Health Organization experts said.

Singh said only farmers can not be blamed for pollution due to crop burning as the Ministry of Earth Sciences has said pollution load from transport was around 41 per cent.

The WHO report on air pollution and child health further revealed that when pregnant women are exposed to polluted air, they are more likely to give birth prematurely and have small, low birth weight children.

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The report, launched ahead of the WHO's first ever Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, found that air pollution also impacts neurodevelopment and cognitive ability and can trigger asthma and childhood cancer.

The report said that at least 600,000 children died from acute lower respiratory infections across the world in 2016. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General has reportedly said that the polluted air is not only ruining the lives of millions of children across the globe while adding that it is inexcusable. In India, 98% of children belonging to this age group are exposed to high PM 2.5 levels which exceed WHO's prescribed annual standard of 25 micrograms per cubic metres, reports The Hindustan Times. Children exposed to excessive pollution may also be at greater risk of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease in adulthood.

"Air Pollution is stunting our children's brains, affecting their health in more ways than we suspected".

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While air pollution is a global problem, it is particularly profound in low and middle income countries, the report stated. Some of the pollutants reach peak concentrations lower to the ground, where children are absorbing them.

Maria Neira, WHO's head of environmental determinants of health, said the worrying findings highlighted in the study, including evidence of pollution causing stillbirth and preterm birth, as well as diseases into adulthood, should lead to policy changes globally.

According to the WHO, the health sector needs to educate and provide resources to health professionals regarding pollution risks.

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This includes using clean cooking and heating fuels and technologies. These and other methods of preventing air pollution will be discussed at WHO's first Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, which will be held at the WHO headquarters in Geneva from October 30 to November 1.

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