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1.7 million children die due to pollution every year: World Health Organisation
A report by World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that each year about 1.7 million children under five die due to pollution.

The causes for this pollution include include unsafe water, poor hygiene practices, lack of sanitation and indoor & outdoor pollution. These causes are also responsible for one in four deaths of children 1 month to 5 years old ,The first report, Inheriting a Sustainable World: Atlas on Children’s Health and the Environment reveals.

“A polluted environment is a deadly one – particularly for young children. Their developing organs and immune systems, and smaller bodies and airways, make them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water,” Dr Margaret Chan, the WHO director-general, said in a statement.

The report also said that infants exposed to indoor or outdoor air pollution, including secondhand exposure to smoke, are more prone to pneumonia during childhood and have an increased risk of chronic respiratory diseases for the rest of their lives.

Listing the ways in which these risk factors can be mitigated, the report says “Investing in the removal of environmental risks to health, such as improving water quality or using cleaner fuels, will result in massive health benefits.”

The report has also red-marked the growth of electronic and electrical waste.

“If not disposed of correctly, waste can expose children to toxins that can harm intelligence and cause attention deficits, lung damage and cancer.” the report says.

The report also highlights the scale of the problem of how environmental pollution affects the health of children across the world.

“The emerging environmental hazards, such as electronic and electrical waste (such as old mobile phones) that is improperly recycled, expose children to toxins which can lead to reduced intelligence, attention deficits, lung damage, and cancer. The generation of electronic and electrical waste is forecasted to increase by 19 per cent between 2014 and 2018, to 50 million metric tonnes by 2018,” the report said.

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