Air Pollution Has A Devastating Impact On Children’s Health

by The Beam

Published on 1 February 2019

Air Pollution Has A Devastating Impact On Children’s Health

by The Beam

 

Every day around 93% of the world’s children under the age of 15 years (1.8 billion children) breathe air that is so polluted it puts their health and development at serious risk. According to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO), 600,000 children died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air in 2016.

The new report also reveals that when pregnant women are exposed to polluted air, they are more likely to give birth prematurely, and have small, low birth-weight children. Air pollution also impacts neurodevelopment and cognitive ability and can trigger asthma, and childhood cancer. Children who have been exposed to high levels of air pollution may be at greater risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease later in life.

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.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General

Air Pollution is stunting our children’s brains, affecting their health in more ways than we suspected. But there are many straight-forward ways to reduce emissions of dangerous pollutants.

Dr Maria Neira, Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health at WHO

WHO is supporting implementation of health-wise policy measures like accelerating the switch to clean cooking and heating fuels and technologies, promoting the use of cleaner transport, energy-efficient housing and urban planning. We are preparing the ground for low emission power generation, cleaner, safer industrial technologies and better municipal waste management

Dr Maria Neira, Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health at WHO

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