- 盡可能減少兒童接觸空氣污染的機會。工廠等污染源不應位在學校和遊戲區域附近。改善廢 棄物管理可以減少社區內焚燒垃圾量。乾淨的爐灶可改善家庭中的空氣品質。
One in every seven children, 300 million, endure the world’s most toxic levels of outdoor air pollution – six or more times higher than international guidelines – and many die as a result, finds a new report from UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund.
Dirty air sickens and kills people of all ages. The World Health Organization, WHO, says air pollution kills about seven million people a year, nearly 12 percent of all deaths worldwide. The culprits are the same pollutants that are warming the climate, and WHO has launched a new campaign to clear the air.
The UNICEF report, “Clear the Air for Children” uses satellite imagery to show for the first time how many children are exposed to outdoor pollution that exceeds global guidelines set by the World Health Organization and where they live.
“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,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.
“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,” warned Lake.
The satellite imagery confirms that roughly two billion children live in areas where outdoor air pollution, from vehicle emissions, heavy use of fossil fuels, dust and burning of waste, exceeds WHO’s minimum air quality guidelines.
South Asia has the largest number of children living in these areas, 620 million, with Africa next at 520 million children.
The East Asia and Pacific region has 450 million children living in areas that exceed WHO’s guideline limits.
The study also examines the heavy toll of indoor pollution, caused by burning fuels like coal and wood for cooking and heating, which mostly affects children in low-income, rural areas.
Together, outdoor and indoor air pollution are directly linked to pneumonia and other respiratory diseases that account for almost one in 10 deaths of children under five, making air pollution one of the leading dangers to children’s health.
Children are more susceptible than adults to both indoor and outdoor air pollution as their lungs, brains and immune systems are still developing and their respiratory tracks are more permeable, says UNICEF. Young children also breathe faster than adults, and take in more air relative to their body weight.
The most disadvantaged, who already tend to have poorer health and inadequate access to health services, are the most vulnerable to the illnesses caused by polluted air.
The findings come a week ahead of the UN’s annual climate conference, held this year in Marrakesh, Morocco, where UNICEF is urging world leaders to cut air pollution in their countries by taking four steps:
* – Reduce pollution by cutting back on fossil fuel combustion and investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
* – Increase children’s access to healthcare to improve their resilience to air pollution and their ability to recover from diseases and conditions linked to it.
* – Minimize children’s exposure to polluted air. Sources of pollution such as factories should not be located within the vicinity of schools and playgrounds. Better waste management can reduce the amount of waste that is burned within communities. Cleaner cookstoves can help improve air quality within homes.
* – Monitor air pollution better to help children, youth, families and communities reduce their exposure to air pollution, become more informed about its causes, and advocate for changes that make the air safer to breathe.