300 mil­lion chil­dren breath­ing highly toxic air

The Myanmar Times - - World -

SOME 300 mil­lion chil­dren live with out­door air so pol­luted it can cause se­ri­ous phys­i­cal dam­age, in­clud­ing harm­ing their de­vel­op­ing brains, the United Na­tions said in a study re­leased yes­ter­day.

Nearly one child in seven around the globe breathes out­door air that is at least six times dirt­ier than in­ter­na­tional guide­lines, ac­cord­ing to the study by the UN Chil­dren’s Fund, which called air pol­lu­tion a lead­ing fac­tor in child mor­tal­ity.

UNICEF pub­lished the study a week be­fore the an­nual UN cli­mat­e­change talks, with the up­com­ing round to be hosted by Morocco on Novem­ber 7-18.

The agency, which pro­motes the rights and well-be­ing of chil­dren, is push­ing for world lead­ers to take ur­gent ac­tion to re­duce air pol­lu­tion.

UNICEF points to satel­lite im­agery which it says con­firms that about two bil­lion chil­dren live in ar­eas where out­door air pol­lu­tion ex­ceeds min­i­mum air-qual­ity guide­lines.

South Asia has the largest num­ber of chil­dren liv­ing in such ar­eas at 620 mil­lion, fol­lowed by Africa with 520 mil­lion and the East Asia and Pa­cific re­gion with 450 mil­lion.

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