WHO: Environmental Pollution Kills Millions of Children Every Year
From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.
Environmental pollution kills 1.7 million children under the age of five every year worldwide. This is according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO warns that child deaths will increase greatly if pollution continues to worsen.
Dr. Margaret Chan is the WHO Director-General. In a press release statement, Chan said, "A polluted environment is a deadly one – particularly for young children."
She explains that "their developing organs and immune systems, and smaller bodies and airways, make them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water."
The most common causes of death among children aged one month to five years are diarrhea, malaria and pneumonia. This is according to the WHO. The organization also says reducing environmental risks can prevent such deaths. This means providing access to safe water and sanitation, limiting exposure to dangerous chemicals, and improving waste management.
Experts say air pollution is the most dangerous
However, of all the environmental pollutants, air pollution is being called the most dangerous.
The WHO estimates that air pollution is responsible for about 6.5 million premature, or early, deaths every year. That number includes nearly 600,000 deaths of children under age five.
Most of these deaths take place in developing countries.
However, WHO environment and health chief Maria Neira tells VOA that air pollution is a leveler between rich and poor. Everybody, she says, needs to breathe.
"You can be a very rich child, your parents very rich, but living in a place, in a city, which is very polluted. Then there is very little you can do because we all need to breathe. So, even if you are rich or poor, you still need to breathe and this is very pernicious. Air pollution is everywhere."
Neira says one of the most important ways to reduce air pollution is to produce cleaner fuels for cooking and heating.
"Almost half of the world population is using dirty fuels for cooking, heating, and lighting at home. And, this is affecting very much mothers who are staying and cooking at home, but the children who are around mothers—they are exposed as well."
She says early exposure to harmful pollutants can lead to increased risk of chronic respiratory disease, asthma, heart disease, stroke and cancer later in life.
Cleaning up how the world cooks, heats and lights homes and other buildings is a big-picture goal. The WHO is advising government departments and industries such as construction and the health sector to work together to clean up their environment.
But what about the here and now? What can individuals do to limit our family's exposure to air pollution?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the following suggestions:
Avoid walking where there is a high volume of vehicle traffic.
Equip homes with air filters and air conditioning units.
Limit your time outside if you live in an area that issues warnings about air quality.
Wear high-grade, rated face masks tightly to the face when air quality is poor.
If you live or commute in a very polluted area, remove your clothes and wash immediately after entering your house.
Some of these suggestions, however, may not work for some people -- for example:
those living in areas troubled by high levels of pollution,
those who cannot stay home from work or school,
or those who do not have money for protective equipment.
Therefore, the WHO stresses that governments around the world need to take the lead on ensuring that children grow up in a clean environment.
And that's the Health & Lifestyle report.
I'm Anna Matteo.
1.Environmental pollution 环境污染
Now the environmental pollution is too serious.
2.air quality 空气质量
The result has been Taiyuan's marked improvement in air quality.
3.face masks 口罩
He has asked servicemen and volunteers working in the disaster areas to wear face masks at all times.
4.air filters 空气过滤器
We take a quick look at some of the common air filters available in the market.
1.Most of these deaths take place in developing countries.
take place 发生；举行
A total solar eclipse is due to take place some time tomorrow.
Elections were postponed the day before polling was due to take place.
2.Therefore, the WHO stresses that governments around the world need to take the lead on ensuring that children grow up in a clean environment.
take the lead 带头
Responsible cadres at various levels must take the lead and study well.
Sharon Wild set a blistering pace to take the lead.
世界卫生组织称，每年全球有170万名五岁以下儿童因环境污染死亡 。世卫组织警告称，如果环境持续恶化，那么儿童死亡的数量会大幅增加 。
陈冯富珍（Margaret Chan）博士是世卫组织总干事 。她在一份公告中表示，“环境污染具有致命性，尤其是对幼儿而言 。”
世卫组织表示，五岁以下幼儿常见的死因包括腹泻、疟疾和肺炎 。该组织指出，减少环境风险可避免此类死亡诱因 。这意味着提供安全的饮水和卫生设施，避免接触危险化学品，并提高废弃物品处理等 。
据世卫组织预计，空气污染每年导致约650万例过早死亡 。该数据涵盖了约60万名五岁以下儿童的死亡 。多数儿童死亡案例发生在发达国家 。
然而，世卫组织环境与健康司司长玛丽亚·尼拉（Maria Neira）对美国之音表示，空气污染没有贫富之分 。毕竟，人人都需要呼吸 。
她说，“可能你是富家子弟，家境殷实，但却身处环境污染严重的城市 。对此，你无能无力，我们都需要呼吸 。所以说，不论贫富，人人都得呼吸，而空气污染又十分致命 。空气污染无处不在 。”
“全球约一半人口使用污染性燃料烹饪、供暖和照明 。而且，这极大地危害到室内做饭的母亲和她们身边的孩子 。他们都暴露在污染的环境下 。”
她指出，早期接触有害污染物 可能会诱发慢性呼吸系统疾病、哮喘、心脏病、中风、癌症等疾病 。
让全球应用清洁能源来烹饪、供暖、照明是个远大的目标 。世卫组织建议建筑和卫生部门等政府机构及行业共同营造清洁环境 。