Babies’ brains damaged by pollution

Seventeen  million  babies  under  the  age  of  one  are  breathing  toxic  air,  putting  their  brain  development  at  risk,  the  UN  children’s  agency,  UNICEF,  has  warned.

As  per  reports  from  UNICEF :  Breathing  particulate  air  pollution  could  damage  brain tissue  and  undermine  cognitive  development.  It  is  also  linked  with  verbal  and  non-verbal IQ  and  memory  which  reduces  test  scores,  grade  point  averages  &  also  other  neurological  behavior  problems.

In  South  Asia,  babies  are  worst  affected  by  more  than  12 million  living in  areas  with pollution  six  times  higher  than  safe  levels. Further  in  East  Asia  &  Pacific –  four  million babies  are  at  risk.

“As  more  and  more  of  the  world  urbanises,  and  without  adequate  protection  and  pollution  reduction  measures,  more  children  will  be  at  risk  in  the  years  to  come,” Unicef said.

It  called  for  wider  use  of  face  masks  and  air  filtering  systems,  and  for  children  not  to travel  during  spikes  in  pollution.

In  Delhi,  the  blanket  of  pollution  and  smog  last  month  prompted  a  shutdown  of  all schools,  with  the  chief minister  calling  it  a ‘gas chamber’. Indian  and  Sri Lankan  cricketers vomited  on  the  pitch  in  Delhi  during  excessive  levels  of  pollution.

Pollution  in  Northern  China  air  pollution  is  estimated  to  cut  life  expectancy  by  3 years while  studies  in  London  show  that  pollution  levels  are  leading  to  lower  birth  rates  that cause  higher  rates  of  infant  mortality  and  diseases  later  in  life.

Taken from BBC

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