Pollution Stunts Brain Development in Children, Warns UNICEF

Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore has warned that air pollution toxicity can affect children's brain development and called for urgent action to deal with the crisis gripping India and South Asia.

"I saw first-hand how children continue to suffer from the dire consequences of air pollution," Fore, who recently visited India, said on Wednesday, 6 November.

"The air quality was at a crisis level. You could smell the toxic fog even from behind an air filtration mask," she added.

Also Read: Newborns Are Smoking 25 Cigarettes Per Day in Severe Air Pollution

Henrietta Fore, Unicef Executive Director“Air pollution affects children most severely and its effects continue all their lives because they have smaller lungs, breathe twice as fast as adults and lack immunity.”

She added that it "damages brain tissue and undermines cognitive development in babies and young children, leading to lifelong consequences that can affect their learning outcomes and future potential. There is evidence to suggest that adolescents exposed to higher levels of air pollution are more likely to experience mental health problems".

Unicef is calling for urgent action to address this air quality crisis affecting 620 million children in South Asia.

Schools were closed in Delhi till Tuesday, 5 November, because of the severe environmental situation caused by post-harvest burning of stubble in neighbouring states.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) on Sunday touched 625, considered "severe plus" level.

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by FIT.)

(Delhi is in a public health emergency. The air outside is visibly toxic - how has the hazardous air #pollution impacted you? Write down your #PollutionKaSolution and send it to us at FIT@thequint.com. )

Also Read: Smog, Smog Everywhere: How To Protect Kids from Air Pollution?

. Read more on Fit by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsPollution Stunts Brain Development in Children, Warns UNICEF  . Read more on Fit by The Quint.