Around 93 percent of children under the age of 15 around the world breathe polluted air every day, which can seriously affect their health and development.
World Health Organization estimates that 600,000 children died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air in 2016 alone, and the number could be higher for 2017 and 2018. "Pollution will also impact the duration and distribution of rainfall", said Nathan Borgford-Parnell, science affairs adviser at Climate and Clean Air Coalition who co-authored the report.
A stunning 93 percent of children, or 1.8 billion, are exposed to PM2.5 levels above World Health Organization air quality guidelines, the report said. Children are particularly vulnerable to illnesses from toxic air because they breathe faster than adults.
Air pollution is one of the leading threats to child health, according to the WHO. If the family is burning fuels like wood and kerosene for cooking, heating and lighting, they will be exposed to higher levels of pollution than children who spend more time outside the home.
Drisse says this can lead to chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as certain types of cancers later in life.
The report says that children in poorer countries are at more risk - 98 per cent of all children under five are at risk in areas of low and medium income, while 52 per cent of all children under five at risk in high-income countries. Europe must "redouble its efforts to reduce emissions caused by transport, energy and agriculture and invest in making them cleaner and more sustainable", he added. "But there are many straight-forward ways to reduce emissions of unsafe pollutants", Maria Neira, Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health at WHO said.
The findings come just weeks after an EU watchdog said most member states fail to meet the bloc's air quality targets, warning that the toll on health in eastern European countries was even worse than in China and India.More news: Khashoggi killed by ‘strangulation’ and ‘cut into pieces’ after murder: Turkish prosecutor
"We are preparing the ground for low-emission power generation, cleaner, safer industrial technologies and better municipal waste management".
Air pollution continues to remain above European Union and World Health Organization (WHO) limits in large parts of Europe the data collected in 2016 from 2,500 measuring stations showed.
The European Union also has a serious air pollution problem.
The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) has urged Delhiites to use public transport for the first 10 days of November when the air quality of the national capital is likely to further deteriorate. "We need strong commitments and actions from everyone".
Industries, households, cars and trucks emit complex mixtures of air pollutants and form ambient air pollution. Sleeping in rooms exposed to sound of night-time traffic makes children hyperactive, sleepless and raises their blood pressure.Regulations that lower pollution and reduce exposure to air toxins can counter some ill effects.
However, WHO said that it was working with partners to develop ways to support countries in addressing the problem of air pollution.