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WHO: Pollution kills 1.7m children a year

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

Author: AFPTue, 2017-03-07ID: 1488842499263276400
GENEVA: More than one in four deaths in children under five are linked to polluted environments, according to two new World Health Organization (WHO) reports published Monday.
Each year, environmental risks such as indoor and outdoor pollution, second-hand smoke, unsafe water and poor sanitation kill around 1.7 million children between the ages of one month and five years, the reports found.
Harmful exposure can start in the mother’s womb, increasing the risk of premature birth, which can lead to life-long health problems.
When children are exposed to air pollutants they also can face a lifelong increased risk of chronic respiratory diseases, like asthma, and of heart disease, stroke and cancer.
The findings were in line with a WHO study published last year showing that about a quarter of all deaths worldwide, across all age groups, were attributable to environmental factors like air, water and soil pollution, as well as unsafe roads and workplace stress.
But the new reports highlight the particular dangers faced by the youngest in society. “A polluted environment is a deadly one, particularly for young children,” WHO chief Margaret Chan said in a statement.
“Their developing organs and immune systems, and smaller bodies and airways, make them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water,” she said.
An estimated 570,000 children under five die each year from respiratory infections such as pneumonia, which are attributable to air pollution and second-hand smoke, the reports found.
And 361,000 others are killed by diarrhea resulting from poor access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, the agency said.
Another 200,000 children under five die from unintentional injuries linked to unhealthy environments, including poisonings, falls and drowning, WHO said.
Main category: Worldrelated_nodes: 1.4 million African children face ‘imminent death’ amid famine: UNICEFAir pollution linked to 2.7 million premature births a year: ScientistsChina, India account for half world’s pollution deaths in 2015 — study

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