New World Health Organisation report: Air pollution and child health

Some key facts:

  • Globally, 93% of all children live in environments with air pollution levels above the WHO guidelines.
  • 630 million of these children aged under 5 years are exposed to levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) higher than the recommended limit, including 52% of children living in high income countries.
  • In 2016, 543 000 deaths in children under 5 years were attributed to the joint effects of ambient and household air pollution. But these figures increase to 595 000 deaths when including all children under 15 years old.
  • 9% of the total number of deaths attributable to the joint effects of household and ambient air pollution worldwide in 2016, were children.

To reduce and prevent exposure to both household air pollution and ambient air pollution, public policy is essential.

City network Polis and its members are committed to promote more sustainable transport and provide support to local governments to clean up air from emissions derived from urban transport.

Polis cities and regions have taken bold actions over the past decades to reduce harmful emissions by encouraging a sustainable shift from private car use to walking and cycling in combination with public transport use, introducing electric charching points, decarbonising transport through electrification of public fleets, promoting shared use of bicycles and cars, developing more efficient traffic management operations through Intelligent Transport Systems.

Find out more about Polis activities on improving air quality here.

WHO report can be found at: