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UNICEF: Air pollution affecting 17 million babies, mostly within South Asia

07.12.2017 08:02 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Nearly 17 million babies under a year old are living in areas where outdoor air pollution is higher than international limits which potentially is putting their brain development at risk, UN Radio says referring to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report. As to the report, the majority of them, about 12 million, are within the South Asia. As to the report, the air pollution is associated with some of the biggest killers of young children, such as pneumonia, responsible for 920,000 deaths each year. It is also linked to asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory infections and diseases. Air pollution can affect developing brains through several ways, including by causing inflammation in the membrane which protects the brain from toxic substances. The UNICEF is calling for action to reduce air pollution: for example, by replacing fossil fuel with cleaner energy sources, or through «smart» urban planning. «We know that reducing air pollution can help improve children’s health, and even save their lives,» the report reads. «We are learning it might also help protect their brains — and thus, their futures».

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