More than one lakh children under the age of five died in India in 2016 due to exposure to toxic air, while about 600,000 children under 15 years of age lost their lives in the same year due to joint effects of ambient and household air pollution, according to a new study by the World Health Organisation study.
The report on released on Monday said about 98 per cent of children under the age of five in low- and middle-income countries were exposed to air pollution.
What does the WHO study say?
# Globally, 93 per cent of the world's children under 18 years of age are exposed to ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels above WHO air quality guidelines, which include the 630 million of children under five years of age, and 1.8 billion of children under 15 years.
# Due to household air pollution in 2016, about 66,890 deaths of children below five years were reported out of which 36,073 were girls and 30,817 were boys.
# Household air pollution from cooking and ambient air pollution caused more than 50 per cent of acute lower respiratory infections in children under five years of age in low- and middle-income countries.
# In low- and middle-income countries around the world, 98% of all children under 5 are exposed to PM2.5 levels above WHO air quality guidelines. In comparison, in high-income countries, 52% of children under 5 are exposed to levels above WHO air quality guidelines.
# The PM2.5 can be a matter of more serious health concern than PM10.
# PM2.5 poses greater harm as being finer, it can easily be inhaled into the respiratory tract.
# "Polluted air is poisoning millions of children and ruining their lives," WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
Note: The PM2.5 has reached dangerous levels in New Delhi in the last two weeks. On Monday, an overall air quality index of 348 was recorded, which falls in the very poor category, according to data of the Central Pollution Control Board.
What does Greenpeace report say?
# The green body's report on Monday said three of the world's largest nitrogen oxide air pollution emission hotspots that contribute to formation of PM2.5 and ozone are in India with one in the Delhi-NCR.
# Delhi-NCR, Sonbhadra in Uttar Pradesh, Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh and Talcher-Angul in Odisha are the hotspots identified. Sonbhadra and Singrauli combined have one hotspot.
(With PTI inputs)