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300 Million Children Are Breathing ‘Extremely Toxic’ Air, UNICEF Says

According to a recent report from UNICEF, over 300 million children worldwide are breathing extremely toxic and unhealthy air.

“The report, which uses satellite imagery to determine the impacted areas, says these children live in places “where outdoor air pollution exceeds international guidelines by at least six times.” Altogether, it states, some 2 billion children are breathing air that has been deemed a “long term hazard,” exceeding minimum standards set by the World Health Organization.”

“Air pollution is a major contributing factor in the deaths of around 600,000 children under five every year — and it threatens the lives and futures of millions more every day,” UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said in a statement. “Pollutants don’t only harm children’s developing lungs — they can actually cross the blood-brain barrier and permanently damage their developing brains — and, thus, their futures. No society can afford to ignore air pollution.”

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