World Health Organization (WHO) study revealed that 98 percent of children under five years of age in low- and middle-income nations like India are exposed to toxic air. According to the study, over 1 lakh children of the same age died in India in 2016 because of air pollution in the country.
WHO study says that a total of 101,788 deaths under the age of five — 54,893 girls and 46,895 boys — in 2016 were reported due to effects of air pollution in houses and outside.
“In low- and middle-income countries around the world, 98% of all children under five are exposed to PM2.5 levels above WHO air quality guidelines. In comparison, in high-income countries, 52% of children under five are exposed to levels above WHO air quality guidelines,” the study says.
Another report by social work organization Greenpeace also presented a grim picture of India’s air pollution.
The report said that three of the world’s largest nitrogen oxide air pollution emission hotspots are in India. Delhi-NCR, Sonbhadra in Uttar Pradesh, Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh and Talcher-Angul in Odisha are the biggest hotspots that have the highest level of air pollution.
The report also noted that air pollution is one of the leading threats to child health, accounting for almost one in 10 deaths in children under the age of five years.
Air pollution can also lead to major health problems in children, including childhood cancers, asthma, poor lung function, pneumonia and other types of acute lower respiratory infection, the report added.