Air pollution, both outside and inside home, is a silent and invisible prolific killer responsible for premature death of 7 million people each year, including 600,000 children, according to a UN expert on environment and human rights.
According to David R. Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur, more than 6 billion people, one-third of them children, are regularly inhaling air so polluted that it puts their life, health and well-being at risk.
“Every hour, 800 people are dying, many after years of suffering, from cancer, respiratory illnesses or heart disease directly caused by breathing polluted air. Yet, this pandemic receives inadequate attention as these deaths are not as dramatic as those caused by other disasters or epidemics,” Boyd said during the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Boyd emphasised that air pollution is a preventable problem and gave a call to abide by their legal obligations to ensure clean air, which is essential for fulfilling the rights to life, health, water and sanitation, adequate housing, and a healthy environment.
“There are many examples of good practices, such as programmes in India and Indonesia, that have helped millions of poor families switch to cleaner cooking technologies that are successfully eliminating the use of coal-fired power plants,” said Boyd. (IANS)
Parents, according to a latest health news if your kids throw attitude and do not listen to you despite repeated warnings at home, it is time to check the quality of their food as microbiome in the gut plays a key role in deciding kids’ behaviour, a novel study has found.
The study of early school-aged children (in the age group of 5-7) showed a connection between the bacteria in their gut and their behaviour, said researchers, adding that parents play a key role in their kids’ microbiome beyond the food they provide.
“Childhood is a formative period of behavioural and biological development that can be modified, for better or worse, by caregivers and the environments they help determine,” said microbiology and statistics researcher Tom Sharpton Oregon State University.
The gut microbiota features more than 10 trillion microbial cells from about 1,000 different bacterial species.
The researchers, which included scientists from Stanford University and University of Manitoba, surveyed the gut microbiomes of 40 school-aged children.
The scientists collected stool from the children and parents filled out questionnaires on socioeconomic risk, behavioural dysregulation, caregiver behavior, demography, gut-related history (like antibiotic use) and a week-long diet journal.
They used a technique known as shotgun metagenomics to apply whole-genome sequencing to all of the organisms found in the subjects’ stool.
The technique gives insight into which microbes live in the gut and their functions.
“One of the novel associations we found was between Type VI secretion systems and behaviour,” said Keaton Stagaman of the OSU College of Science.
The findings, published in the journal mBio, are important because microbiome can shed light on which children are heading toward mental health challenges.
“Future studies will hopefully show whether these secretion systems have direct or indirect effects on the gut-brain axis and which organisms carry these systems,” Sharpton said.