A report published by UNICEF has brought to light some astonishing facts about the environment. The report has warned that about 17 million infants across the globe are breathing toxic air which has all the potential to affect their brain development.

Out of the two thirds of the affected infants more than 12 million, live in South Asia and are at risk to pollution about six times higher than the recommended limits. Particles of pollution can damage the brain tissue and impairs the vital development of the infants and can lead to lifelong consequences. Not many are aware that air pollution is the biggest threat to a child’s health.

The condition of Pneumonia has claimed the lives of 920,000 children under the age of 5 years every year and the risk is even worse for children under the age of 1. The brain develops in the first 1,000 of life which forms the foundation of the neural connections in this stage. The report has stated that the exposure to air pollution during this time can have an impact on the development.

According to satellite imagery by UNICEF, the infant population of 12 million in South Asia are at biggest risk from pollution. Experts have said that urgent actions are needed to be taken on an urgent basis as the reports have also mentioned that even a fetus can be affected due to second hand smoke in the womb. Measures need to be taken on a local level by developing greenery and regular monitoring of the children’s respiratory health. The report has also mentioned about the steps to be taken by the parents and reduce the exposure to fumes which are produced by cooking or heating fire or smoking tobacco.

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