UNICEF calls for South Asian action to reduce air pollution
Published : Friday, 8 November, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 126
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore on Thursday urged the governments of the countries in the South Asian region and around the world to take urgent steps to reduce air pollution.
In a statement she said, "Around 620 million children in the region breathe polluted and toxic air. As they have smaller lungs, breathe twice as fast as adults and lack the immunities that come with age children endure its damaging health and neurological effect the most."
She also associated air pollution with one of the biggest killers of children - pneumonia and linked it to asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory infections.
"UNICEF is calling for urgent action to address this air quality crisis. The governments in the region and around the world should take urgent steps to reduce air pollution by investing on cleaner, renewable sources of energy to replace fossil fuel combustion," the statement read.
The statement came after a research report suggests that air pollution in the city reached and 'unhealthy' level even before the winter sets in, exposing its residents to health risks.
Dhaka's air remained unsuitable for breathing for more than half of the last year. The air quality remained 'very unhealthy' and 'extremely unhealthy' for 197 days, according to an analysis of Air Quality Index data monitored by the Department of Environment under its Clean Air and Sustainable Environment (CASE) project.
The duration of the 'unhealthy' air level is increasing day by day, it said.