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UNICEF: Air Pollution Kills 600,000 Small Children Every Year

A humanitarian organization is calling for action to reduce air pollution, citing the deaths of 600,000 young children every year.

UNICEF released a report Monday saying air pollution causes or exacerbates diseases in little kids, killing 600,000 younger than 5 and sickening millions more. The organization’s executive director, Anthony Lake, lists in his introduction to the UNICEF report both premature births and low birth weights as side effects of air pollution at the time of birth and says pollutants hurt children’s brains as they are developing: “Studies show these tiny particles can also cross the blood-brain barrier, which is less resistant in children, causing inflammation, damaging brain tissue and permanently impairing cognitive development.”

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