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Killer smoke: 600,000 children under the age of 15 died around the world in 2016 due to air pollution. | Image brief: Medscape.com

Air pollution ‘the new tobacco’, over 90% of world’s children breathing killer air: WHO

Air pollution is the new tobacco and the simple act of breathing is killing seven million people a year, says World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom. The latest WHO report says 600,000 children under the age of 15 died because of air pollution in 2016. The study finds over 90% of world’s children are breathing toxic air. The findings coincide with the start of the first global conference on air pollution and health in Geneva, where nations and cities are expected to make new commitments to cut air pollution.

According to the report, at least 100,000 children below five years dies in India in 2016 due to health complications resulting from outdoor and indoor PM2.5 pollutants.

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