One in seven children suffer high air pollution: UNICEF
Published: 2016-10-31 10:52:07.0 BdST Updated: 2016-10-31 10:52:07.0 BdST
Almost one in seven children worldwide live in areas with high levels of outdoor air pollution, mostly in South Asia, and their growing bodies are most vulnerable to damage, the UN children's agency UNICEF said on Monday.
UNICEF called on almost 200 governments, which will meet in Morocco from Nov 7-18 for talks on global warming, to restrict use of fossil fuels to give twin benefits of improved health and slower climate change.
About 300 million children, or almost one in seven worldwide, lived in areas where outdoor pollution was highest, defined by UNICEF as at least six times international guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO), it said.
Of the total, 220 million lived in South Asia. It identified the regions with satellite imagery developed by NASA.
UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake said air pollution was a "major contributing factor in the deaths of around 600,000 children under five every year", causing illnesses such as pneumonia.
"Pollutants don't only harm children's developing lungs - they can actually cross the blood-brain barrier and permanently damage their developing brains - and, thus, their futures," he said in a statement.
"Air pollution affects poor children the most," Nicholas Rees, a UNICEF specialist on climate and economic analysis who wrote the report, told Reuters.
Worldwide, the WHO estimates that outdoor air pollution killed 3.7 million people in 2012, including 127,000 children aged under five. Factories, power plants and vehicles using fossil fuels, dust and burning of waste were among sources.
Indoor air pollution, often caused by coal- or wood-burning cooking stoves used in homes in developing nations, killed even more people, 4.3 million, of whom 531,000 were aged under five, it said.
UNICEF called on the UN-led meeting in Morocco to hasten a shift from fossil fuels to cleaner energies such as wind or solar power, to improve children's access to health care, limit children's exposure to pollution and to step up monitoring of the air.
Any unauthorised use or reproduction of bdnews24.com content for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited and constitutes copyright infringement liable to legal action.
- Chemicals spill at Tesla battery factory, no serious injuries
- Met office warns ports over low in the Bay of Bengal
- Anger burns on Vietnam's poisoned coast a year after spill
- Trump to sign order sweeping away Obama-era climate policies
- Thousands take shelter as Cyclone Debbie lashes Australian coastal resorts
- Trump greenlights Keystone XL pipeline, but obstacles loom
- Trump to roll back use of climate change in policy reviews: source
- In race to curb climate change, cities outpace governments
- EPA chief unconvinced on CO2 link to global warming
- France bans plastic cups, plates and cutlery
- Bangladesh directors to boycott actor Shakib Khan
- Former British PM David Cameron coming to Dhaka
- Hasina slams critics of bid to remove statue from Supreme Court premises
- SSC results date announced
- ‘Improvised bomb’ found at Sylhet school
- Reports of North Korea artillery drill as US submarine makes South Korea port call
- Security forces raid Rajshahi homes
- Bangladesh life expectancy up: BBS
- Bangladesh sees highest rainfall for 35 years recorded in April
- Emma Watson remembers Rana Plaza in tweet