WHO warning: Air pollution is causing more and more deaths worldwide

WHO warning: Air pollution is causing more and more deaths worldwide

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WHO examined the number of deaths from reduced air quality
Air pollution is on the rise in most countries around the world. This also creates many health problems for people in these countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there were approximately 6.5 million deaths from the effects of air pollution in 2012 alone.

The World Health Organization (WHO) researchers found that many people die each year from the effects of air pollution. In 2012 alone, around 6.5 million deaths seem to have been caused by air pollution. That was about 11.6 percent of global deaths in 2012. The researchers have now released a press release on the results of their investigation.

We need clean air outdoors, but also in our buildings
The new WHO air quality model shows that most deaths from air pollution occur particularly in East Asia and the West Pacific region. Air pollution has the greatest impact on the health of women, children and older adults, says Dr. Flavia Bustreo from WHO. It is important for human health to breathe clean air from the first breath to the last breath. This applies to clean air outdoors, but also in rooms in buildings. Because air pollution in the home puts every third person at risk.

What diseases can air pollution lead to?
Over 94 percent of air pollution deaths are associated with non-communicable diseases. These include, for example, cardiovascular diseases, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and lung cancer, the experts from the WHO explain. Air pollution also increases the risk of acute respiratory infections.

Consequences of indoor air pollution
Exposure to outdoor air pollution costs about three million lives a year. However, WHO experts point out that indoor and outdoor air pollution can be fatal. Not only does outdoor air pollution kill people, indoor air pollution kills thousands of people every year.

Sources of air pollution
The most important sources of air pollution include inefficient modes of transport, household fuels, waste incineration, coal-fired power plants and general industrial activities, the scientists explain. Another study has already shown that air pollution from coal-fired power plants is the cause of thousands of deaths in Europe. However, human activities are not the only cause of air pollution, the WHO experts explain. For example, pollution of the breathing air can also be caused by dust storms, especially in regions near deserts.

Monitoring air quality is getting better
The new model is a big step in the direction of reliable estimates of the large global pollution and related deaths. One in nine worldwide deaths is caused by pollution of our indoor and outdoor air, says Dr. Maria Neira from WHO. Air pollution is being monitored in more and more cities, satellite data is becoming more comprehensive, and with it, health estimates about the impact of air pollution are also improving, the expert adds.

Where does the air pollution data come from?
The new air quality model was developed by WHO in collaboration with the University of Bath in Great Britain. The incoming data comes from satellite measurements, air transport models and ground stations at more than 3,000 locations in rural and urban areas. (as)

Author and source information

Video: Delhi: the city with the most polluted air. The Economist (June 2022).