Rich nations are creating unsafe living conditions for children at home and around the world, a UNICEF report released on Tuesday called on states to reduce waste and reduce pollution.
UNICEF’s Innocent Research Center has compiled 39 countries from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union (EU) on a variety of standards, including pesticide use, home humidity, lead exposure, light access and waste generation.
Although Spain, Ireland and Portugal performed relatively well, the report found that none of the countries studied provided a healthy environment for children.
“Most rich countries are not only failing to provide a healthy environment for children within their borders, they are also contributing to the destruction of children’s environments in other parts of the world,” said Gunilla Olson, director of the center.
The report notes that the lesser-studied countries in Latin America and Europe have had less of an impact on the general condition of the planet than some of the richer states studied.
Although Finland, Iceland and Norway led to provide a healthier environment for their own youth, they were at the bottom of the list in terms of their impact on the planet for their emissions rate, amount of electronic waste and level of use.
In Iceland, Latvia, Portugal and Britain, one in five children come into contact with damp and mold in their home, while in Cyprus, Hungary and Turkey more than one in four children are infected.
Many children breathe in toxic air both indoors and outdoors, especially in Mexico, although not in Finland and Japan, the report also found.
More than one in twelve children in Belgium, Israel, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland are exposed to high levels of pesticide contamination, the report said.
A study of 39 countries found that more than 20 million children had high levels of lead in their blood, it added.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)