January 20, 2019

Children under 15 at serious risk from polluted air

01 November 2018, 01:25 | Ross Houston

The situation may further deteriorate next month during Diwali

Delhi weather Delhi temperature Delhi climate Delhi pollution Delhi smog air pollution Delhi news Indian Express news

Data from the United Nations health body shows that every day, 93 percent of children under the age of 15 - a full 1.8 billion youngsters, including 630 million under the age of five - breath dangerously polluted air.

The household pollution produced by the use of cooking oil, heating and lighting are severely injurious for newborn children.

Breathing toxic air can impact a child's development and cognitive abilities. Air pollution contributed to the deaths of more than half a million children under the age of 15 in 2016. This translates into 630 million children under the age of five years and 1.8 billion children under the age of 15 years.

Pollution control board officials of Punjab and Haryana have refuted claims that stubble burning by farmers is the reason for the plummeting air quality of New Delhi, saying cities around the fields where crop residue is burnt have cleaner air than the national capital, The Economic Times reported.

The report says switching to clean cooking and heating fuels and technologies could save the lives of many children.

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Also they are more active on the ground, where pollutants reach peak concentration.

Air pollution is stunting children brains and affecting their health in more ways than was previously suspected, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

"We are preparing the ground for low-emission power generation, cleaner, safer industrial technologies and better municipal waste management". Delhi has 38 real-time and 10 manual stations, compared to a handful in other major metros, where data is inadequate.The mother's exposure to polluted air has been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes, including premature birth, low birth weight, abnormal birth length and head circumference, and small size for gestational age.

Air pollution is especially unsafe for children, and accounts for almost one in 10 deaths among children under five around the globe, the report found.

The report states that the 93 percent of the world's children face serious health problems because of the polluted air that they breathe. Early estimates using improved models indicate a total figure of 9 million from particle pollution.Daniel Krewski at the University of Ottawa, one of the team behind the newer estimate, said: "This suggests that outdoor air pollution is an even more important risk factor for health than previously thought". Death rates due to air pollution are 84.8 per 100,000 in India says the report. To achieve this, governments should adopt such measures as reducing the over-dependence on fossil fuels in the global energy mix, investing in improvements in energy efficiency and facilitating the uptake of renewable energy sources. A senior scientist at IITM, Pune has revealed satellite images of North India showing a large number of biomass fire spots in Delhi while weather experts also state that pollution in the region could escalate as western disturbances could hit the Himalayan region from October 31st onwards. Studies from the USA have also shown that children who moved to states with better air have increased lung function and lower hospital admissions with respiratory complaints, such as asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and respiratory infections.

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