More than 90 percent of the world's children breathe toxic air

Air pollution is the new tobacco says WHO Head

Air pollution kills 600,000 kids annually mostly in Africa, Asia -WHO

Dr Maria Neira, WHO director for public health and the environment in her statement said that children and infants are at a great risk because almost 300 million children live in regions where the toxins in the air force them to breathe in poisonous fumes.

Pregnant women who breathe such dirty air are more prone to deliver premature and underweight children.

On the other hand, 10 cities of the state figured in "very poor" air quality category which means prolonged exposure to such air can lead to respiratory illness.

A WHO assessment released earlier this year found that 14 out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in India.

Over three days starting Tuesday top health and air pollution experts from across the world will gather in Geneva to highlight the gravity of the issue and brainstorm on ways to tackle sources of air pollution and shed light on health impacts.

New Delhi's Environment Minister Imran Hussain had last week reviewed an action plan for implementing the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).GRAP kicks in when AQI touches severe levels as mandated by the country's Supreme Court. The WHO considers levels under25 to be acceptable for humans to breathe regularly.

It said about 98 per cent of children under the age of five years in low- and middle-income countries, which include nations like India, were exposed to air pollution caused by finer particulate matters in 2016.

WHO Director for public health and environment.

"Polluted air is poisoning millions of children and ruining their lives".

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The air pollution related mortality and disease burden India faces is also the highest in the world.

Why is it so bad in India?

UKHACC desires enforced air standards, to be regulated by an independent body, and establishment of an advisory group to advise government on air pollution. "That is why it is so important that Europe redoubles its efforts to reduce emissions caused by transport, energy and agriculture and invest in making them cleaner and more sustainable"' EEA Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx said.

The city is also preparing for Diwali, the annual festival of lights, which begins this year on November 7.

In 2015, concentrations of PM2.5 were slightly lower than the previous year, while the levels of NO2 and O3 were higher. These regions have six times higher air pollution than recommended permissible levels she said.

This year, authorities hope that a Supreme Court ban on the sale of most firecrackers will help prevent a plunge in air quality, though critics are skeptical about how effective the ban will be and how it will be enforced.

"In view of the worsening situation, which is likely to aggravate after Diwali, I request you to ban all construction activities in the national capital with immediate effect", he said in the letter.

Its report said pollution levels were slowly improving in European Union countries but remained far higher than European Union and World Health Organization (WHO) standards.

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