Air Pollution Can Permanently Damage Children’s Brains, Lowers IQ: UNICEF

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As per the latest report of UNICEF, pollution can permanently severe children’s lungs and brain and can also lower intelligence. The report titled “Danger in Air”  revealed that kids’ memory is affected by pollution and globally 17 million babies live in highly polluted places. South Asia is home to 12.2 million of them and another 4.3 million kids live in East Asia and Pacific. Not only do pollutants harm babies’ developing lungs, they can permanently damage their developing brains and, thus, their futures,” Unicef executive director Anthony Lake said.

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The findings come at the time when India is facing the serious issue of air pollution. Delhi’s air pollution is now discussed at international level as the air pollution in the capital is worst in the world and in during winters its impact is severe. The result of same has deteriorated lungs of many children in Delhi and the pollution levels are affecting fetuses too.

Most of the brain’s development happens in the first 1,000 days of life, which makes children vulnerable to damage by a smaller dosage of toxic chemicals. Children also breathe more rapidly and are more likely to breathe through their mouths, which increase the amount of pollutants they inhale,” said Dr Krishnan Chugh, a senior paediatric pulmonologist at Fortis Hospitals in Gurgaon told Hindustan Times.

The report showcases how pollution particles can cause neuroinflammation by damaging the blood-brain barrier and another way pollution can impact kids is the exposure to magnetite particles which can lead to neurodegenerative diseases. The pollutants from high vehicle traffic contribute a loss of white matter in the brain. For the uninitiated, white matter contains nerve fibers that are critical in aiding the neurons to communicate. What are your views on this? Let us know in the comments below.

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