New Delhi, October 30: More than 1.25 lakh children in India below the age of five died in 2016 due to the toxic air inhalation. According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), every one in five children who died from toxic air exposure around the world is from India. The report, "Air Pollution and Child Health: Prescribing Clean Air," said that burning fossil fuel in the household is linked to the deaths of 67,000 children in India below the age of five. The study also said the outside pollution caused by vehicles and industrial emission is a cause of nearly 61,000 deaths among children below five years of age in 2016.
The WHO study, which examined the health toll of children breathing hazardous air pollutants, focused on the dangerous particulate matter with a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometres i.e. PM 2.5. It includes toxicants like black carbon and sulfates, which pose threat to life as they can penetrate deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system. Air Pollution a Serious Problem, Our Responsibility to Reduce It: Rahul Gandhi.
In the majority of the cases, most of the children were suffering from the combined effects of the bad air indoors as well as outdoors. Both lead to respiratory tract infection but the causes or the chemicals involved are different. Ban on 15-Year-Old Petrol And 10-Year-Old Diesel Vehicles Ordered by Supreme Court in Delhi NCR Amid Rising Air Pollution.
According to the WHO report, India is among the countries where more than 98 percent of children below five years of age are living in areas which exceed the WHO air quality standards. It further said nearly 93 percent of children around the world “breathe air that is so polluted it puts their health and development at serious risk. Tragically, many of them die.”