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17 million babies breathing toxic air worldwide

06 Décembre 2017

The UNICEF report also states that South Asia has the largest proportion of babies living in areas where air pollution is at least six times higher than worldwide limits (10 micrograms per cubic metre).

Nearly 17 million babies across the world are breathing toxic air, which could be damaging the development of their brains, according to a report released by UNICEF on Wednesday.

India topped the list of countries with babies at risk, followed by China, UNICEF said in a report.

Of these 17 million babies, about 12.2 million live in South Asia while 4.3 million babies live in East Asia and the Pacific.

A Unicef report states that toxic air severely affects children's brain development and may cause a permanent damage to their brains. "No child should have to breathe dangerously polluted air and no society can afford to ignore air pollution", said Lake.

Lastly, be aware about the air pollution levels near your area.

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The particulate matters could trigger neuro-inflammation by damaging the blood-brain barrier, a membrane that protects the brain from toxic substances.

The report highlighted links found between pollution and brain functions "including verbal and nonverbal IQ and memory, reduced test scores, grade point averages among school children, as well as other neurological behavioural problems".

UNICEF also highlighted the growing risk from minute particles of the iron ore magnetite which is increasingly found in urban pollution.

UNICEF urged more efforts to cut pollution, and also to reduce children's exposure to the poisonous smog which has frequently reached hazardous levels in Indian cities in recent weeks.

Rees said masks help "but very importantly they have to have good filters and they also have to fit children's faces well".