How serious is Air Pollution today? This WHO report tells you.

Did you know how air pollution can turn into a killer disease?

World Health Organization has come up with a report recently that has sent shock waves across the world. The biggest epidemic that mankind has ignored for far too long is air pollution. The recent report states how air pollution claims around 1.7 million children every year.

WHO Reports:

Two reports were released yesterday that gave us these startling and worrisome- numbers. The first report- Inheriting a Sustainable World: Atlas on Children’s Health and the Environment explains how one in every four children (upto the age of 5) lose their lives due to pollution-related risks such as dirty water, poor sanitation, inadequate hygiene, and air pollution.

Also read: A ‘loo’ming threat

The extensive report describes how environmental risks can reduce a range of ailments and diseases from neonatal to adults. From low birth weight to congenital abnormalities in infants, to diarrhoea and food poisoning in toddlers, and chronic respiratory diseases in children, the report claims how a quarter of childhood deaths and disease can be attributed to environmental risks and pollution, in particular.

Of the leading causes of death among children under 5 years, pneumonia forms 13% of the total deaths among the post neonatal category.

The other report named- Don’t pollute my future! The impact of the environment on children’s health– WHO broke down the issue into the following numbers and statistics:

  • 570,000 children under 5 die each year from respiratory infections, such as pneumonia, due to indoor and outdoor air pollution and second-hand smoke.
  • 361,000 children under 5 die each year due to diarrhea resulting from lack of access to clean water, and poor sanitation and hygiene.
  • 270,000 children worldwide die each before they reach one month old.
  • 200,000 childhood deaths from malaria could be prevented with better sanitation and mosquito-control measures.
    • 200,000 children under age 5 die from unintentional injuries attributable to hazardous environments, including poisonings, falls and drowning.

Also read: The perils of common cold

The report brings to light a worrying aspect of the future with more than 11-14% of children aged 5 and above have symptoms of asthma and how the immune systems and the airways are affected at a younger age due to prolonged exposure to polluted environments.

A series of photos from National Geographic gives a clear picture of the sad state of our current generation. Watch the slideshow here:

Another Delhi-based organization Help Delhi Breathe- recently came up with this hard-hitting video that sums up the state of affairs of the level of pollution in the nation’s capital.  Watch this video to know more:

We need to act and the time is NOW.

Pic courtesy: DeccanChronicle