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2B Children Worldwide Breathe Polluted Air, UNICEF Report Shows; Agency Urges Immediate Steps To Improve, Track Air Quality

Associated Press: 2 billion children breathe toxic air worldwide, UNICEF says
“…A new report from UNICEF says about a third of the two billion children in the world who are breathing toxic air live in northern India and neighboring countries, risking serious health effects including damage to their lungs, brains, and other organs…” (10/31).

CNN: UNICEF: Air pollution kills 600,000 children yearly
“…Around 600,000 children under age five die every year from diseases caused by or exacerbated by outdoor and indoor air pollution, especially in poor nations, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said in the introduction to a report titled ‘Clear the Air for Children’…” (Ellis, 10/30).

The Guardian: 300 million children live in areas with extreme air pollution, data reveal
“…The study, using satellite data, is the first to make a global estimate of exposure and indicates that almost 90 percent of the world’s children — two billion — live in places where outdoor air pollution exceeds World Health Organization (WHO) limits…” (Carrington, 10/30).

International Business Times: UNICEF Air Pollution Report: 600,000 Children Under 5 Die From Related Causes
“…The report links one of every eight deaths, including adults, around the world in 2012 to air pollution, which amounts to seven million people dying due to unclean air. But it highlights the increased impact that [particulate matter (PM)] can and does have on children, who are vulnerable to its effects even before they are born…” (Goenka, 10/31).

New York Times: 300 Million Children Breathe Highly Toxic Air, UNICEF Reports
“…Among the most dangerous pollutants are air particles known as PM2.5, which are a small fraction of the width of a human hair. They can be released from fossil fuel combustion and industry, and include natural sources like dust. The ultrafine particles enter the bloodstream through the lungs, worsening cardiac disease and increasing the risk of stroke and heart failure, in addition to causing severe respiratory problems, like asthma and pneumonia…” (Anand, 10/30).

Reuters: One in seven children suffer high air pollution — UNICEF
“…UNICEF called on almost 200 governments, which will meet in Morocco from Nov. 7-18 for talks on global warming, to restrict use of fossil fuels to give twin benefits of improved health and slower climate change…” (Doyle, 10/31).

VOA News: UNICEF: 1 in 7 of World’s Children Exposed to Toxic Air Pollution
“…UNICEF says it will ask the countries attending the climate change conference to take ‘four urgent steps’ to protect children from air pollution: Those steps are: 1. adopt measures to reduce pollution; 2. increase children’s access to health care; 3. minimize children’s exposure to pollution; and 4. establish better monitoring of air pollution…” (10/31).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.