Millions of babies are breathing in toxic air, UNICEF report says

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The United Nations report had also stated that it is South Asia which has the largest percentage of babies that are living in areas where the pollution in air is at least around six times higher than the set worldwide limits which happens to be ten micro grams for one cubic metre.

The report comes at a time when north India, particularly Delhi and adjoining areas, battle high pollution levels with air quality swaying from "very poor" to "emergency" levels, restricting physical activity and forcing closure of schools.

Finally, the paper says it's important to raise public awareness about the damaging effects of air pollution.

Satellite imagery analysed by UNICEF indicates that 12.2 million of these children live in South Asia.

"No child should have to breathe dangerously polluted air - and no society can afford to ignore air pollution", Lake said.

Air pollution for long has been known to cause several ailments related to breathing and general health and according to the United Nations Children's Fund report titled "Danger In the Air" air pollution can also permanently damage a child's brain.


The report finds a possible link between prenatal exposures and delayed development of an infant's brain, along with psychological and behavioural problems that may occur later in childhood.

A study reported a four-point drop in the IQ by the age of five when kids aare exposed to air pollution, . Though few places top six times the recommended pollution density, UNICEF reported in 2016 that overall 2 billion children breathed bad air. "As more and more of the world urbanises, and without adequate protection and pollution reduction measures, more children will be at risk in the years to come". "But this growing body of research does provide an indication of the scale of harm", said the UNICEF.

Air pollution is closely associated with asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and other respiratory infections, it said.

The report urges steps be taken to reduce the impact of air pollution on babies' growing brains.

It called for a greater use of masks, air filtration systems and for children to avoid travelling when pollution levels are at their highest.

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