ECDAN

Danger in the air: How air pollution can affect brain development in young children

December 2017 – UNICEF released a paper title Danger in the Air: How air pollution can affect brain development in young children that notes that breathing in particulate air pollution can damage brain tissue and undermine cognitive development – with lifelong implications and setbacks.

Satellite imagery reveals that South Asia has the largest proportion of babies living in the worst-affected areas, with 12.2 million babies residing where outdoor air pollution exceeds six times international limits set by the World Health Organization. 

The paper shows that air pollution, like inadequate nutrition and stimulation, and exposure to violence during the critical first 1,000 days of life, can impact children’s early childhood development by affecting their growing brains.