Air pollution may cause permanent damage to your child's brain

Ivan Schwartz
December 8, 2017

According to a report, 17 million babies around the world are at serious risk of brain and lung damage because of air pollution. About 17 million babies live in areas around the world where air pollution is at least six times higher than global limits, according to the report released on December 5.

Satellite imagery analysed by UNICEF indicates that 12.2 million of these children live in South Asia.

Some particles in air, the report said, can cause neurodegenerative diseases while others can damage brain areas for learning and development.

The foetus exposed to pollutants suffer from brain development delay until the age of three along with other psychological and behavioral problems with a four-point drop in IQ by age five reports Hindustan Times.

Unicef reports says that these ultrafine particulates such as PM2.5 which easily enter the bloodstream, then travel to the brain which damages the blood-brain barrier, a very thin membrane in the brain that protects it from the toxic substances entering the brain.

Smith authored a paper published Tuesday that analyzed the health of half a million infants in London between 2006 and 2010. Broader suggestions made about "smart urban planning" included absence of coal-plants near schools, clinics, hospitals or anywhere where they can cause harm to children.

"The levels of pollution in Asia are much higher than in London", she said.

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The Unicef elaborates the effects says the risk begins in the womb.

ยท Reduce air pollution by investing in cleaner, renewable sources of energy to replace fossil fuel combustion; provide affordable access to public transport; increase green spaces in urban areas; and provide better waste management options to prevent open burning of harmful chemicals.

"Protecting children from air pollution not only benefits children".

The paper urges parents to take steps to reduce children's exposure to harmful chemicals, including from tobacco products and cooking stoves.

"We have long known that violence, extreme neglect and lack of nutritious food in the earliest years of life can inhibit children's brain development".

The united Nations is calling on governments to intensify the fight against pollution as well as to strengthen the protection of children, including through the use of facial masks and filtration systems of the air.

"The vast number of babies living in highly polluted areas of our world, combined with the emerging evidence presented in this new paper, provides an urgent wake-up call to take action against pollutants".

Other reports by GizPress

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