Geneva — More than one in four deaths in children under five are linked to polluted environments, according to two new World Health Organisation reports published Monday. Each year, environmental risks such as indoor and outdoor pollution, second-hand smoke, unsafe water and poor sanitation kill about 1.7-million children between the ages of one month and five years, the reports found. Harmful exposure can start in the mother’s womb, increasing the risk of premature birth, which can lead to lifelong health problems. When children are exposed to air pollutants they also can face a lifelong increased risk of chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma, and of heart disease, stroke and cancer. The findings were in line with a WHO study published last year showing that about a quarter of all deaths worldwide, across all age groups, were attributable to environmental factors such air, water and soil pollution, as well as unsafe roads and workplace stress. But the new reports highlight t...

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