More than 1.7 million children die each year from conditions attributed to unhealthy environment, according to a report by World Health Organization.
In fact, the most common causes of death among children are diarrhea, malaria and pneumonia — diseases that can easily be prevented by the most basic type of intervention like using insecticide-treated nets, living in hygienic conditions and drinking clean water.
“A polluted environment is a deadly one — particularly for young children," WHO Director General 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."
The report states the harmful exposure from outdoor/indoor air pollution and second-hand smoke can start in the mother’s womb and can increase the risk of premature birth. Children who survive, or infants exposed to air pollution, often develop chronic respiratory diseases. They also have a higher risk of heart disease, stroke or cancer in the long run.
Take a look at the horrific amount of deaths caused by air pollution in children.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Adnan Abidi