7 mil. die yearly due to polluted air

03 May, 2018, 17:30 | Author: Jared Lewis
  • Cathal Mc Naughton  Reuters                   A child wears a face mask for protection from air pollution in Delhi India

In some regions, sand and desert dust, waste burning and deforestation are additional sources of air pollution.

Two Northern Ireland cities are among dozens of places in the United Kingdom which suffer from worrying levels of air pollution, a report has said.

The database suggests that 28 Chinese cities, including Beijing, are among the top 50 worst polluted sites assessed.

"There is no such thing as a safe level of air pollution, though years of government complacency suggests they think otherwise". The annual mean levels of pollutants in these countries have often exceeded more than five times the limit set in WHO's air quality guidelines.

A report from the World Health Organisation says globally, seven million people a year are dying due to poor air quality, mostly in poorer nations.

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Air pollution is linked to an increased risk of both heart attacks and stroke.

"As more air quality data becomes available, we are uncovering a deeply concerning number of seemingly quaint, fresh aired places across the United Kingdom with dangerously polluted air".

The organisation estimates that 4.2 million deaths in 2016 were caused by outdoor, or ambient, pollution and 3.8 million were caused by indoor pollution associated with the use of biomass fuel for heating and cooking.

"It is unacceptable that over 3 billion people ― a lot of them women and children ― are still breathing deadly smoke every day from using polluting stoves and fuels in their homes", Dr Tedros said.

These outdoor particulates - including sulphate, nitrates and black carbon - are largely created by vehicle and truck traffic, manufacturing, power plants and farming.

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Director General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the need to tackle the problem of pollution is not only an element of combating climate change - in fact, it is a fundamental aspect of sustainable development.

The report also claimed that 9 out of 10 people breathe air filled with pollutants.

Actions Prof Kevin McConway, of The Open University, added: "The position is far worse in lower and middle-income countries and in many other parts of the world".

The latest and updated urban air quality database for 2016 released by the World Health Organization, shows that as many as 9 out of 10 people breathe air that breaches safe limits.

The report pointed out that most countries, especially high income countries, are taking action to lower air pollution from particulate matter.

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"The data shows that reliance on dirty energy is a global public health emergency". In a scientific statement issued in 2004, the American Heart Association concluded that exposure to air pollution may lead to cardiovascular illness and mortality.

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