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HomeKnowledge LibraryThe Early Years: Air Pollution

The Early Years: Air Pollution

This policy brief captures what we know, why it matters, and what policymakers can do about air pollution.

Air pollution is a global health emergency and young children are the most vulnerable. Polluted air causes long-lasting damage to babies and toddlers, whose brains and bodies are still developing and who breathe in more toxic air than adults. A comprehensive set of policies are needed to reduce emissions at source, while protecting children from the pollution which already exists.

Different solutions are needed at each policy level, from international commitments to tackle global emissions – such as the United Nations’ Clean Air Initiative – to street-level urban planning. Only comprehensive, coordinated action will make the air cleaner for young children.

We produced this policy brief as part of a series that compiles all the need-to-know information on the early years.

The Early Years: Policy Briefs

This collection of eight policy briefs explains some of the greatest challenges facing young children around the world.

Learn more