WHO DG: Polluted Air Kills 600, 000 Children Globally

Ed Miliband with his wife Justine Thornton and their children Daniel and Samuel in 2015

On that occasion, the WHO published a report according to which about 93% of children under the age of 15 in the world (1.8 billion children) inhale each day so infected air that poses a serious risk to health and their development.

The Copenhagen-based agency calculated that air pollution caused more than half a million premature deaths across Europe in 2015 - mostly from tiny airborne particles known as PM2.5. Around 6,00,000 children died in the year 2016 itself due to acute lower respiratory infections caused by pollution.

The following study took data from around 194 countries dealing with toxic air problems where India topped the list as it witnessed the deaths of at least 1 lakh children who were below the age of five.

Air pollution continues to remain above European Union and World Health Organization (WHO) limits in large parts of Europe the data collected in 2016 from 2,500 measuring stations showed.

In India, nearly all children under the age of 5 breathe polluted air and women especially in rural areas are subject to high levels of household air pollution. As the organization reported on its website, it, along with several partners, is holding the first-ever Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health in Geneva, Switzerland from October 29 - November 1. The percentage of children exposed to air pollution ranges from 52 percent in high income countries to up to 98 percent in the low and middle-income countries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned from growing air pollution and its impact on children's health.

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Hoffman said air pollution is connected to an increased incidence of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), strokes and heart attacks, and her new work explores how even low levels of pollution can still have damaging health effects. "But there are many straight-forward ways to reduce emissions of unsafe pollutants", Maria Neira, Director with the Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health at WHO, said. "Burning of fossil fuels in households is a big health threat, especially for women and children who live in proximity to the source of pollution". Switching to clean cooking fuels, low emission power generation, cutting the number of waste burning cases, are a few to name.

Air pollution can occur both outside and inside buildings and homes, and is defined by the concentration of fine particulate matter that the air holds (less than or equal to 2.5 micrometres in size).

He also encouraged all countries to work towards meeting World Health Organization global air quality guidelines, by reducing the over - dependence on fossil fuels, investing in improvements in energy efficiency and facilitating the uptake of renewable energy sources.

The UN body said that the conference would rally the world towards major commitments to fight the problem and seek agreement on a target to reduce the seven million deaths from air pollution.

We are empowering health professionals to explain the risks of air pollution to their patients and how best to reduce those risks.

At the conference stakeholders including governments, heads of worldwide organisations, city representatives and NGOs have been invited to make voluntary commitments towards reducing air pollution.

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