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17 million babies worldwide breathing toxic air, United Nations warns
06 December 2017, 08:51 | Lena Norman
Money Sharma AFP
Scientists have not conclusively proved findings about air pollution's effects on brain development, but a rapidly growing body of evidence creates "reason for concern", UNICEF's Nicholas Rees, the report's author, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Air pollution potentially affects children's brains through several mechanisms. It also benefits their societies – realized in reduced health care costs, increased productivity and a safer, cleaner environment for everyone, ” he stressed.
Satellite imagery used to assess pollution levels around the world found that South Asian countries accounted for 12.2 million of the total number of affected children but that there is also a growing problem in African cities.
The brains of developing children are especially vulnerable because they can be harmed by smaller doses of toxic chemicals compared to adults' brains, the report states.
Ultrafine toxic particles can enter the body through the bloodstream and travel to the brain, damaging its barrier and causing neuro-inflammation. Then, specific air pollutant particles such as magnetite can lead to oxidative stress which is often the cause of neurodegenerative diseases.
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Strong wind expected through Monday night
The front will still be hanging out right on top of us Friday , with cooler air north and warmer air south. Sunday's high will climb into the upper 40s and Monday's high will dip a bit into the mid-40s.