According to a latest report by WHO, toxic air in India was the reason behind close to 1,10,000 premature deaths of children in 2016.
WHO held its first ever conference on air pollution and health and concluded that India witnessed the highest number of deaths of children under five years of age owing to pollution caused by PM 2.5.
To put it in numbers, 60,987 children under five died in India due to exposure to PM 2.5, followed by 47,674 in Nigeria.
According to the report, every day around 93% of children under 15 years of age breathe polluted air, putting their health and development at serious risk. In 2016, almost 6,00,000 children died from acute lower respiratory infections globally.
Speaking to TOI, Dr. Maria Neira, said:
"Air pollution is stunting our children's brains, affecting their health in more ways than we suspected."
The report also says that pregnant women who are exposed to polluted air are more likely to give birth prematurely, leading to low birth-weight children.
Our future is in grave danger if air pollution continues unabated at the current rate.