17 million babies breathing toxic air worldwide

07 Décembre, 2017, 01:13 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

The global humanitarian group says worldwide toxic air levels in some areas are six times higher than recommended limits and that many of those zones were found in South Asia where 12 million at-risk babies live.

The report entitled Danger in the Air: How air pollution can affect brain development in young children also notes that breathing in particulate air pollution can damage brain tissue and undermine cognitive development - with lifelong implications and setbacks.

Lastly, be aware about the air pollution levels near your area.

Babies are also more susceptible to the effects of air pollution because they breathe more rapidly and their immune defenses are not fully developed.

The UN's children's agency, Unicef, said Asia accounts for more than 16 million of the world's 17 million infants under the age of one and living in areas with severe pollution.

The links of pollution with asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory diseases in the long course are known for a long time.

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Pollutants inhaled by pregnant women may pass through the placenta and disturb the development of the brain of the foetus.

The pollution " will impact the learning of the children, their memories, their language skills and motor", said to AFP Nicholas Rees, author of the report.

"No child should have to breathe dangerously polluted air", Lake said, "and no society can afford to ignore air pollution". "But this growing body of research does provide an indication of the scale of harm", said the UNICEF. "Protecting children from air pollution, not only benefits children".

Lake called on countries exceeding global limits to step up efforts to reduce air pollution.

"A lot of focus goes on making sure children have good quality education, but also important is the development of the brain itself", he added. The report recommends wider use of filter masks in developing countries and for children to not be allowed to travel outside during spikes in pollution.

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