Beware: Pollution Can Destroy Your Baby’s Brain
Any amount of pollution is dangerous to babies’ developing brains.
The United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF is issuing this warning as pollution breaks in major cities across the world, especially Asia.
UNICEF says India tops the list of countries with babies at risk from pollution, followed by China.
UNICEF sounded the alarm on Wednesday over the damage that pollution was doing to babies' developing brains as New Delhi and other major cities hit new toxic smog peaks.
The UN's children's agency said Asia accounted for more than 16 million of the world's 17 million infants aged under one year living in areas with severe pollution -- at least six times more than safe levels.
Satellite imagery used to assess pollution levels around the world found that South Asian countries accounted for 12.2 million of the total number of affected children but that there was also a growing problem in African cities.
Air pollution has already been linked to asthma, bronchitis, and other long-term respiratory diseases.
"But a growing body of scientific research points to a potential new risk that air pollution poses to children’s lives and futures: its impact on their developing brains," UNICEF said.
The report highlighted links found between pollution and brain functions "including verbal and nonverbal IQ and memory, reduced test scores, grade point averages among school children, as well as other neurological behavioural problems."
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