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93 Percent Breathing Polluted Air

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

children air pollution

Story at-a-glance -

  • Worldwide, 93 percent of children live in areas with air pollution at levels above WHO guidelines
  • More than 1 in 4 deaths among children under 5 years is related to environmental risks, including air pollution
  • In 2016, ambient (outside) and household air pollution contributed to respiratory tract infections that led to 543,000 deaths in children under 5
  • In 2016, ambient air pollution led to 4.2 million premature deaths, nearly 300,000 of which occurred in children under the age of 5
  • Exposure to air pollution may lead to lower cognitive test outcomes, negatively affect children’s mental and motor development and may influence the development of autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Breathing clean air is a right that should be enjoyed by every person on Earth, but as industry, agriculture and other sources of air pollution have proliferated, clean air has become increasingly scarce.

The problem has grown to monumental levels, such that the World Health Organization (WHO), in their latest report on air pollution and child health, stated, “Exposure to air pollution is an overlooked health emergency for children around the world.”


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