Air pollution killed 500,000 newborns in 2019 — global study | Inquirer Technology
Close  

Air pollution killed 500,000 newborns in 2019 — global study

/ 06:12 PM October 23, 2020
pollution

Image: IStock.com/letty17 via AFP Relaxnews

Air pollution killed 476,000 newborns in 2019, with the biggest hotspots in India and Sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new global study which said that nearly two-thirds of the deaths came from noxious fumes from cooking fuels.

More than 116,000 Indian infants died from air pollution in the first month of life, and the corresponding figure was 236,000 in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the State of Global Air 2020.

ADVERTISEMENT

The estimates were produced by the United States-based Health Effects Institute and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s Global Burden of Disease project.

The authors wrote they relied on a growing body of evidence linking mothers’ exposures during pregnancy to air pollution with the increased risk of their infants being born too small (low birth weight) or too early (preterm birth).

FEATURED STORIES

These conditions are associated with serious complications and already account for the vast majority of neonatal deaths in both regions.

The new analysis estimated what percentage of those deaths came from ambient and household air pollution.

“An infant’s health is critical to the future of every society, and this newest evidence suggests an especially high risk for infants born in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa,” said Dan Greenbaum, president of HEI.

“Although there has been slow and steady reduction in household reliance on poor-quality fuels, the air pollution from these fuels continues to be a key factor in the deaths of these youngest infants,” he added.

Overall, the report found that air pollution led to 6.7 million deaths worldwide in 2019, making it the fourth leading cause of death behind high blood pressure, tobacco use and dietary risks.

The authors added that while the COVID-19 pandemic had led to significant societal and personal costs, “many countries around the world have experienced blue skies and starry nights, often for the first time in many years” — but these gains were short-lived.

“Nonetheless, the blue skies have offered a reminder of what pollution takes away,” it said. RGA

ADVERTISEMENT

RELATED STORIES: 

Air pollution may increase risk of developing high blood pressure — study

The new street furniture cleaning up urban air

The latest tech news delivered to your inbox

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
TOPICS: babies, deaths, India, Mothers, Pollution
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our technology news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.