93% of children breathe polluted air

Thursday, 01 Nov, 2018

It was also found to increase the risk of cancer and other chronic illnesses later in life like cardiovascular disease. They said the US had a low level of air pollution relative to other countries, attributing the progress to the Clean Air Act, but cautioned that actions to roll back progress could worsen health.

The most tragic thing about these 7 million deaths is that they are so preventable.

In a new report, WHO said that air pollution has a "vast and bad impact on child health and survival".

Air pollution continues to remain above European Union and World Health Organization (WHO) limits in large parts of Europe the data collected in 2016 from 2,500 measuring stations showed.

Defending the federal government, Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said his ministry and the state governments of Punjab and Haryana have tried to reduce stubble burning and the Delhi government must intensify its own efforts to help curb pollution.

One reason why children are especially vulnerable to polluted air is that they breathe more rapidly than adults, absorbing more toxins, World Health Organization says. There also are clusters of poor air quality in every country, warned Dr. Sophie Gumy, a scientist in WHO's department of environmental and social determinants of health. A senior scientist at IITM, Pune has revealed satellite images of North India showing a large number of biomass fire spots in Delhi while weather experts also state that pollution in the region could escalate as western disturbances could hit the Himalayan region from October 31st onwards. The deaths occurred because of health complications faced by the children due to high indoor and outdoor air pollution. Delhi is now the second most polluted major city in the world, according to air quality tracker AirVisual, second only to Lahore in Pakistan.

About 3 billion people continue to use smoky, polluting stoves and fuels inside their homes for cooking and heating. Pregnant women who are exposed to polluted air are more likely to give birth prematurely, and have small, lower birth-weight children.

The report, reviewed by Asharq Al-Awsat, showed that the polluted air causes seven million early deaths yearly, and was the only cause behind the death of 600,000 children in 2016, for suffering from acute respiratory inflammation, which contributed to over $5 trillion losses in the global economy. According to the report, nearly 98% of the children below the age of five in India were exposed to PM2.5 levels. Since they are also closer to the ground where the pollutants reach peak concentrations, the children are more susceptible since their bodies are still developing.

We are empowering health professionals to explain the risks of air pollution to their patients and how best to reduce those risks.

United Nations claims that if the suggested measures are implemented, annual premature mortality associated with indoor air pollution can decline by 75%.

The mayors of Paris and Brussels recently called for Europe to hold an annual car-free day in a bid to ease air pollution, having held a vehicle-free day in their own cities in September.

In high income countries, more than half (52%) of children under five are exposed to air pollution over the safe limits.