By: Kyle James | 12-07-2017 | News
Photo credit: Igor Peshin |

Unicef Says Pollution is Damaging Babies' Brains

The UN children's agency Unicef has warned that 17 million babies under the age of one are breathing toxic air which is directly putting their brain development at risk.

South Asian babies were some of the worst affected, more than 12 million babies were living in areas with pollution six times higher than what is considered safe with another four million at risk in East Asia and the Pacific. The warning said breathing particulate air pollution could damage brain tissue and hinder cognitive development.

The report said there was a direct link to "verbal and non-verbal IQ and memory, reduced test scores, grade point averages among schoolchildren, as well as other neurological behavioral problems. As more and more of the world urbanizes, and without adequate protection and pollution reduction measures, more children will be at risk in the years to come."

The damage that was a result of breathing particulate pollution lasted a lifetime according to the report. The report also called for a wider use of face masks and air filtering systems as well as not having children travel during pollution spikes. Recently, a hazardous smog began blanketing the Indian capital Delhi which the capital's chief minister Arvind Kejriwal described as a" gas chamber".

Air pollution in northern, China is expected to cut life expectancy by about three years prompting the government to impose tougher emissions regulations on companies.

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