Childhood air pollution exposure key messages

Resource type
Advocacy asset
Geographic area

Children’s health is under grave threat, and they are the least responsible. More than 1 million premature deaths among children under the age of 5 are caused by pollution and toxic substances annually. Children are physically, socially and economically more vulnerable and less able to survive shocks from pollution, floods, droughts, severe weather and heatwaves. For example, children are uniquely more vulnerable because of their child-specific behaviours such as hand-to-mouth contact, breathing twice as fast as adults, often by mouth, and eating more per kilogram of weight, which exposes them to toxins in food, water, air and soil. Any deprivation caused by climate and environmental degradation at a young age can result in a lifetime of lost opportunity.

This page provides key messages to support advocacy, investment and action towards a healthy environment for every child regarding air pollution