from the not-holding-my-breath--oh-wait dept.
Air pollution in many of the worlds cities is breaching guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Its survey of 1,600 cities in 91 countries revealed that nearly 90% of people in urban centres breathe air that fails to meet levels deemed safe.
The WHO says that about half of the world's urban population is exposed to pollution at least 2.5 times higher than it recommends.
Air quality was poorest in Asia, followed by South America and Africa.
About 17 million babies worldwide live in areas where outdoor air pollution is six times the recommended limit, and their brain development is at risk, the U.N. children's agency (UNICEF) said on Wednesday.
The majority of these babies – more than 12 million – are in South Asia, it said, in a study of children under one-year-old, using satellite imagery to identify worst-affected regions.
"Not only do pollutants harm babies' developing lungs – they can permanently damage their developing brains – and, thus, their futures," said UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake.
The links between air pollution and dain bramage are not yet conclusive, according to the report's author.
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