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Photo: Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

Approximately 93% of the world’s children under the age of 15 — about 1.8 billion children — are breathing air that threatens their health and development, according to a new report released by the World Health Organization.

Between the lines: Children are more vulnerable to air pollution because they are still developing, but they also breathe more rapidly than adults and are therefore exposed to more pollutants, the authors write. Children are also physically closer to the ground, and therefore often take in pollutants at higher concentrations.

The big picture: Air pollution is responsible for almost 1 in 10 deaths in children under 5, making it a leading threat to child health.

Why it matters:

  • Children exposed to air pollution can be at greater risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions later in life.
  • Toxic air exposure can affect neurological development and cognitive ability. It can also trigger childhood cancer and asthma.
  • Women who are pregnant and exposed to polluted air are more likely to give birth prematurely and have children at low birth weights.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
9 mins ago - Economy & Business

Workers are getting a really bad deal

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This week's spate of data highlighted the difficulties Americans who have lost their jobs have had bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic, and just how much those who have managed to keep their jobs have been working.

What's happening: The Labor Department reported Thursday that the productivity of American workers fell by a revised 4.2% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the largest decline in 39 years.

FBI: Trump appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The FBI on Thursday arrested former State Department aide Federico Klein, a Trump appointee who worked on the former president's 2016 campaign, on charges related to the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, according to a court filing.

Why it matters: The 42-year-old Klein is the first member of the Trump administration to be arrested in connection with the insurrection, which led to the former president's second impeachment and charges against over 300 people.

Biden confronts mounting humanitarian crisis at the border

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Pool/Getty Images     

Just over a month into his presidency, President Biden is staring down a mounting crisis at the border that could be just as bad as the ones faced by Barack Obama and Donald Trump, if not worse.

Why it matters: Immigration is an issue that can consume a presidency. It's intensely and poisonously partisan. It's complicated. And the lives and welfare of vulnerable children hang in the balance.