Environmental Hazards Kill 1.7 Million Kids Under Age 5 Each Year

“According to two new World Health Organization reports, about 1.7 million children under the age of 5 die each year because of environmental hazards. It’s the first such estimate of the child death toll from environmental causes,” Angus Chen reports for NPR.

“‘That terrible figure’ makes up about a quarter of child deaths under 5, says Dr. Maria Neira, WHO’s public health and environment department director and lead author on the reports. In addition, children can experience mental and physical developmental disorders and an increased lifelong risk for certain diseases because of exposure to pollutants.”

“These deaths are also preventable, Neira says. Policies and regulations that improve housing, sanitation, clean water and emissions often result in large benefits to children’s health, she says.”

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