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Pollution responsible for quarter of deaths of young children, says WHO


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Toxic air, unsafe water and and lack of sanitation cause the deaths of 1.7 million under-fives every year. Pollution is responsible for one in four deaths among all children under five, according to new World Health Organisation reports, with toxic air, unsafe water, and and lack of sanitation the leading causes. The reports found polluted environments cause the deaths of 1.7 million children every year, but that many of the deaths could be prevented by interventions already known to work, such as providing cleaner cooking fuels to prevent indoor air pollution. “A polluted environment is a deadly one, particularly for young children,” said Dr Margaret Chan, director-general of the WHO. “Their developing organs and immune systems – and smaller bodies and airways – make them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water.” The harm from air pollution can begin in the womb and increase the risk of premature birth. After birth, air pollution raises the risk of pneumonia, a major cause of death for under fives, and of lifelong lung conditions such as asthma. It may also increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer in later life. The reports present a comprehensive review of the effect of unhealthy environments and found that 570,000 children under five years old die each year from respiratory infections such as pneumonia, while another 361,000 die due to diarrhoea, as a result of polluted water and poor access to sanitation. The WHO estimates that 11% to 14% of children aged five years and older currently report asthma symptoms, with almost half of these cases related to air pollution. It also suggests that the warmer temperatures and carbon dioxide levels linked to climate change may increase pollen levels, making asthma worse.

Read More: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/06/pollution-quarter-of-deaths-of-young-children-who

Posted by on Mar 12 2017. Filed under Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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