WHO re­ports on health and air tox­i­c­ity

BioSpectrum (India) - - WHO NEWS -

A re­cent re­port by the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO) has es­ti­mated that in 2016, 600,000 chil­dren died from acute lower res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tions caused by pol­luted air. Ev­ery day around 93 per cent 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.

The re­port 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.

WHO’s First Global Con­fer­ence on Air Pol­lu­tion and Health, which opened in Geneva on 30 Oc­to­ber pro­vided the op­por­tu­nity for world lead­ers; min­is­ters of health, en­ergy, and en­vi­ron­ment; may­ors; heads of in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions; sci­en­tists and oth­ers to com­mit to act against this se­ri­ous health threat that short­ens the lives of around 7 mil­lion peo­ple each year.

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