World Health Organization( WHO) researchers found that one in four deaths among children under the age of five is associated with the environmental pollution. The experts published a press release on the results of their study.
Many people in the world need safe fuels for cooking
The world's polluted environment causes the death of 1.7 million children every year, explained the authors of the WHO.Many of these deaths could be avoided by means of already tested interventions. These include, for example, the provision of clean fuels for safe cooking in interior spaces. This could prevent dangerous air pollution in living rooms.
Young children are particularly vulnerable to environmental pollution
A polluted environment is a deadly danger, especially for small children, says the Director General of the WHO Dr. Margaret Chan. Their still developing organs, immune systems and airways make the children particularly vulnerable to the effects of dirty air and polluted water, Chan continues.
Pulmonary inflammation is the main cause of death in children under five years
The damage caused by air pollution can already begin in the mother's body. The result is that the risk of premature birth increases. After birth, for example, there is a risk that pneumonia will develop as a result of air pollution. This disease is the main cause of death in children under five years, explain the authors. Moreover, air pollution leads to life-long lung diseases such as asthma and can also increase the risk of heart disease, strokes and cancer, the specialists add.
Environmental impacts have a strong impact on childhood death
The current report presents a comprehensive review of the effect of unhealthy environmental influences. The researchers found that around 570,000 children under the age of five died every year as a result of respiratory infections. A further 361,000 children die from diarrhea, caused, for example, by contaminated water and poor hygiene.
What impact does air pollution have on our children?
The WHO experts estimate that about eleven to fourteen percent of children aged five years and older suffer from symptoms of asthma. Approximately half of these cases are probably associated with the air pollution. The investigation also indicates that the warmer temperatures and higher levels of carbon dioxide are associated with climate change and increased pollen flight, the medical experts explain. This effect causes the existing asthma to worsen.
Diarrhea and malaria cost many children's lives
World Health Organization scientists also stress that a large proportion of child deaths are caused by diarrhea, malaria, and pulmonary infections. These deaths could be prevented by reducing the pollution of our environment.
How can we reduce the death rate in children?
Improving access to clean water and safe fuels for cooking, removing unsafe materials and lead paints, and reducing the use of hazardous pesticides and harmful chemicals could prevent a lot of deaths in the long run, the WHO experts said.
Deaths due to malaria must be reduced
An estimated 200,000 deaths among children under five years are due to malaria alone. This figure could be significantly reduced by avoiding unhygienic drinking water storage, thus reducing the habitats of mosquitoes, said the researchers.
New damaging environmental impacts are on the rise
There are currently a number of new damaging environmental influences, for example, by means of discarded old mobile phones and other electronic waste. By the coming year, this waste is expected to have reached an amount of 50 million tons, the experts say. If such waste is not properly recycled, it can expose children to dangerous toxins. These then lead to reduced intelligence, attention deficit, lung damage and cancer, warn the medical staff of the WHO.(as)
Many deaths among children under five years are due to the increasing pollution of our environment. Researchers have now found that one in four deaths of children at this age is related to polluted air, contaminated water, and a general lack of hygiene.