According to a report released by the United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF) on Monday, more than two billion children in the World are breathing toxic air due to air pollution. The findings of the UNICEF also revealed that one-third of the affected Children are in North India.
“A recent survey conducted by the UNICEF on air pollution and its impact on Children has revealed quite alarming facts. More than 2 billion children are inhaling contaminated air globally. Out of the affected 2 billion, 300 million kids are exposed to pollution levels six times higher than the global standards set by the World Health Organisation”, the statement from UNICEF said.
“Prolonged exposure to unhealthy air will impact the overall development of the Child. It will have serious medical effects on Lungs, Liver, Brain and other organs. Sadly, out of the 300 million kids inhaling dangerous air, 220 million are in South Asia”, the UNICEF added.
Children are more vulnerable to toxic air as they breathe twice the air than a normal adult in a quick time. In addition, they do not have a well developed Immune system being in a developmental stage.
The report also warned the Northern India of serious health issues to Children, if no proper action has been taken in the right direction. With Diwali on Sunday, the Delhi’s climate has already reached the worst with fine particulate matter PM 2.5 recording 900 micro grams per cubic meter on Monday morning. The recorded values are 90 times higher than the global safe standards recommended by the World Health Organisation(WHO) at 10 micro grams per cubic meter.
The Delhi government has already declared a holiday on Monday, in view of the impact of the polluted air on Children. The Health ministry of the state government too has issued an official health-warning to the citizens asking them to refrain from coming out of their houses.
Since being identified as the World’s polluted city, the national capital has tried everything to keep pollution under control. It has barred trucks from entering the Delhi streets, limited the number of cars on road and also experimented with traffic conditions. But, the results have not been favorable in the Winter season as the air rarely moves, thereby, trapping fine dust particles at one place.