Pollution can permanently damage a child's brain

Babies’ brains at risk from toxic pollution UN

The executive Director of UNICEF, Mr Anthony Lakes, gave out a statement which states that it is not just the developing lungs of babies that are harmed by Pollutants, even damage of developing brains could happen because of pollutants.

UNICEF claimed that all over the world, around seventeen million infants under the age of one are living in such highly polluted areas, out of which approximately 12.2 million of them live in South Asia.

Even as the National Capital and adjoining regions are grappling smog and air pollution for over a month now, the issue has been raised at the highest global level as United Nations worldwide Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has taken a serious view of the situation. A study reported a four-point drop in the IQ by the age of five when kids aare exposed to air pollution, .

Air pollution for long has been known to cause several ailments related to breathing and general health and according to the United Nations Children's Fund report titled "Danger In the Air" air pollution can also permanently damage a child's brain. They are so fine that they can enter the bloodstream, travel to the brain, and damage the blood-brain barrier, which can cause neuro-inflammation.

He explained that when a child's cognitive development is impaired, it affects not only individual lives but whole families, communities and economies.

The paper outlined steps for parents to take at home, focusing on monitoring children's respiratory health and reducing their exposure to fumes produced by cooking or heating fires or smoking tobacco.

When there is an exposure of a pregnant women to pollutants, it harms them a lot. The study used satellite images to investigate which regions were worst affected by air pollution - in terms of air pollution's affect on children under one year of age.

UNICEF warns that as more countries grow into modern, urban societies, governments have failed to provide "adequate protection and pollution reduction measures" to protect young children.

It further recommends improving children's overall health to bolster their resilience, and promotes exclusive breastfeeding and good nutrition.

New Delhi has been facing extreme levels of pollution due to various factors like crop-burning in neighboring states, increased vehicular traffic, and industries around the city. The result of same has deteriorated lungs of many children in Delhi and the pollution levels are affecting fetuses too.