Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Details of WHO Report
Mains level: Impact of Air Pollution on Child Health
WHO report on Air Pollution and Child Health
- Every day about 93% of the world’s children under the age of 15 (1.8 billion children) breathe polluted air that puts their health and development at serious risk, the WHO said in a new report.
- It attributed deaths of about 600,000 children under 15 years of age in 2016 to the joint effects of ambient and household air pollution.
- It reveals that when pregnant women are exposed to polluted air, they are more likely to give birth prematurely, and have small, low birth-weight children.
- Air pollution also impacts neurodevelopment and cognitive ability and can trigger asthma, and childhood cancer.
- Children exposed to high levels of air pollution may be at greater risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease later in life.
- The report was published on WHO’s first ever global conference on Air Pollution and Health.
What makes children more Vulnerable?
- One reason why children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of air pollution is that they breathe more rapidly than adults and so absorb more pollutants.
- They also live closer to the ground, where some pollutants reach peak concentrations at a time when their brains and bodies are still developing.
- In addition, newborns and small children are often at home.
- If the family is burning fuels like wood and kerosene for cooking, heating and lighting, they would be exposed to higher levels of pollution.