The United Nations Children’s Fund released a report today with the findings that about 2 billion of the world’s children are breathing toxic air regularly.
Of those 2 billion kids, the report found that 300 million are breathing air that is six times more toxic than international guidelines recommend. Children are at particular risk by air pollution because their lungs are still developing and because of that, they breathe in twice as fast. The report also says that air pollution can affect the developing brains of children, make other health problems worse and sickness because of air pollution can keep children from attending school regularly, leading to other problems that are not physiological.
According to UNICEF, the bulk of these children are living in South Asia
Industrialization is still the main culprit, as many areas begin to industrialize and pollute.
“Unless action is taken to control outdoor air pollution, studies show that outdoor air pollution will become the leading cause of environment-related child death by 2050,” the report says.
The World Health Organization has previously reported that 10 percent of deaths of children under 5 are somehow linked to air pollution.