First News
Volume:7, Number:33
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Air Pollution Kills 8,500 Children Annually

| Navid Ahmed |

Around 8,500 children under the age of 5 die every year from diseases caused by outdoor and indoor air pollutions in Bangladesh. Globally, the number of child death due to air pollution is 600,000. The pollutants do not only harm the children's developing lungs but also they can actually cross the bloodbrain barrier and permanently damage their developing brains, and thus, their futures. This death figure is alarming and we need to take immediate steps because UNICEF says that air pollution leads to the deaths of more children yearly than malaria and HIV/AIDS.

A study by UNICEF reveals that almost one in seven of the world's children live in areas with the most toxic levels of outdoor air pollution, which is six or more times higher than international guidelines. The satellite imagery confirms that around 2 billion children live in areas where outdoor air pollution, caused by vehicle emissions, heavy use of fossil fuels, dust and burning of waste, exceeds minimum air quality guidelines set by the World Health Organization. South Asia has 620 million children living in these areas which are the largest number in the world with Africa following with 520 million children. The East Asia and Pacific region has 450 million children living in areas that exceed guideline limits. Bangladesh has one of the largest burdens of child mortality associated with indoor air pollution.

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