Almost 17 million babies under the age of 1 are living in places where polluting of the environment is “at least six times higher” than international limits, according to the US Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Its report, “Risk in the surroundings: How polluting of the environment make a difference brain development in young children,” states that sucking in particulate air pollution may both undermine cognitive advancement and damage brain tissue.
In a statement Wednesday, UNICEF said that satellite imagery demonstrated South Asia was home to the largest proportion of babies – 12.2 million – living in the worst-affected areas.
The international limits associated with polluting of the environment are set by the World Health Corporation (WHO).
UNICEF’s paper added that ultrafine pollution particles posed “an especially high risk” because they could even more easily enter the bloodstream and then travel through the body to the brain.
“Not merely do pollutants harm babies’ developing lungs, they are able to permanently damage their growing brains, and thus, their futures,” Anthony Lake, UNICEF’s executive director, said.
“Protecting children from polluting of the environment not only benefits kids,” Lake added. “It … also benefits their societies – noticed in reduced healthcare costs, increased efficiency and a safer, cleaner environment for everybody.”
The report sets out a range of techniques the impact of polluting of the environment on babies’ brains could possibly be lowered.
These include investing in renewable sources of energy to chop air pollution, increasing how much green spaces found in urban areas, and improving both understanding and monitoring of polluting of the environment.
The World Health Corporation describes polluting of the environment as a “major environmental risk to health.” It says that in 2012, outdoor polluting of the environment in towns and rural areas was triggered around 3 million premature deaths globally.