By Mary McDougall

Around 93% of the world’s children under 15 years of age breathe air that is so polluted it puts their health and development at serious risk, accounting for 1.8 billion children, according to a report published by the World Health Organization ahead of its first global conference on air pollution and health in Geneva.

In 2016, 600,000 children were estimated to have died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air.

Air pollution is one of the leading threats to health in children under 5, accounting for almost one in 10 deaths among this age group, the report reveals.

“This is inexcusable. Every child should be able to breathe clean air so they can grow and fulfil their full potential” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement.

The most recent air pollution data from WHO released in March gave India the distinction of having the world’s 10 most polluted cities.

Delhi’s air is so polluted that residents could live as much as nine years longer if Delhi met WHO standards, estimated the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago in a study published in 2017.

Last year, the Indian Medical Association declared a public health emergency because of alarming pollution levels and hospitals were clogged with wheezing men, women and children.

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Areas of Focus: Environment
Definition
Environment
Producing and using energy damages people’s health and the environment. EPIC research is quantifying the social costs of energy choices and uncovering policies that help protect health while facilitating growth.
Air Pollution
Definition
Air Pollution
Air pollution from fossil fuel combustion poses a grave threat to human health worldwide. EPIC research is using real-world data to calculate the effects of air pollution on human health...