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More than 90% of world's children breathe toxic air, report says, as India prepares for most polluted seasonBy Guest Nicole
(CNN)Around 93% of the world's children under 15 years of age breathe air that is so polluted it puts their health and development at serious risk, accounting for 1.8 billion children, according to a report published by the World Health Organization ahead of its first global conference on air pollution and health in Geneva.
In 2016, 600,000 children were estimated to have died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air.
Air pollution is one of the leading threats to health in children under 5, accounting for almost one in 10 deaths among this age group, the report reveals.
"This is inexcusable. Every child should be able to breathe clean air so they can grow and fulfil their full potential" said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement.
Air pollution also effects neurological development and cognitive ability and can trigger asthma and childhood cancer, the report says. Children exposed to excessive pollution may also be at greater risk of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease in adulthood.
"Air pollution is stunting our children's brains, affecting their health in more ways than we suspected. But there are many straightforward ways to reduce emissions of dangerous pollutants," said Dr. Maria Neira, director of the Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health at the WHO.
According to the WHO, children are more susceptible to pollution because they breathe more often, taking in more pollutants, and are closer to the ground, which is where some pollutants have higher concentrations.
By Guest Nicole
What goes around, comes around, eventually. The latest karmic zinger is how likely you now are to find plastic particles, from packaging you might have once used, in your sea salt.
Each year, humans dump 13 million metric tons of plastic into the ocean. Some of that plastic begins its life as tiny particles, such as microbeads in face scrubs and toothpaste; others as larger pieces that get broken down through mechanical or chemical means. Estimates vary, but there’s no doubt the amount of plastic now in the oceans is substantial: one 2014 study found that there are more than 5 trillion plastic pieces sharing the seas with marine life, 92% of which are microplastics less than five millimeters (0.2 inches) in size.
Of the many ways that microplastics make their way back to us, the simplest one is through the food cycle. Tiny marine organisms like krill ingest microplastics, which are about the same size as the zooplankton they feed on. The krill then get eaten by salmon, which eventually are served in restaurants around the world. Just in case mercury concentrations weren’t enough to show us the consequences of a fish-eat-fish world, persistent plastics are a painful reminder.
Read more: https://qz.com/979101/sea-salt-is-likely-to-contain-microparticles-of-plastic-according-to-a-new-study/
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