Geneva - Every year 1.7 million children under the age of five die worldwide because their environment is polluted. Dirty water, dirty air and poor hygiene are responsible for more than quarter of deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today. In another report, she warned of further dangers to children's health from electronic and electrical waste.
Around 570,000 children die every year from pneumonia and other respiratory infections because they are constantly exposed to polluted or smoky air. 361,000 die of diarrhea because they have no access to clean water or toilets. Others die from malaria, although the mosquitoes can be easily kept away - for example by covering the drinking water container.
"A polluted environment is deadly, especially for young children," said WHO chief Margaret Chan. These are particularly at risk because their organs and immune system are not yet fully developed.
Further dangers for the According to the WHO, the health of children is also lurking through the growing electrical and electronic waste such as old cell phones. The garbage exposes children to toxins that limit their “cognitive abilities” and their alertness, as well as lead to lung damage or cancer. According to this, electrical and electronic scrap will grow by 19 percent to 50 million tons worldwide between 2014 and 2018.
According to WHO information, climate change also affects children's health: it leads to higher temperatures and an increase of CO2 in the air. This increases the pollen load and, as further consequence, the number of asthma illnesses in children, warned the organization.