The World Health Organization (WHO) has conducted a study to determine particulate pollution worldwide. Above all, cities in poorer countries have values far above those recommended. Which are these.
Nine out of ten people in the world breathe polluted air, according to a WHO report.
More than 7 million die every year as a result of this pollution.
The World Health Organization estimates that toxic particles such as sulphate, nitrate and soot are responsible for a quarter of all deaths from heart disease and stroke, a third of lung cancers and almost half of all chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.
The majority of deaths are registered in low-income countries. Most of the deaths occur in regions in Asia and Africa, where cooking is still more common on open fires, by burning kerosene or wood, or where light is produced.
Every year, millions of people die prematurely as a result of air pollution, the UN agency warned when it presented a study.
Especially in poorer countries, the risk of heart attacks, lung cancer and chronic breathing diseases is increasing.
Overall 3 billion people, more than 40 per cent of the world's population, have no access to safe technological equipment and breathe dirty air into their homes every day.
Also, there are harmful levels of toxic substances in the open air, caused, for example, by industrial and traffic emissions, waste burning and dust.
"Air pollution is one of the main causes of disease and death," said WHO Deputy Director-General Flavia Bustreo.
#AirPollution can be reduced by promoting:— WHO South-East Asia (@WHOSEARO) October 18, 2018
🚇 Sustainable transportation
🌬️ Industrial emission reduction
♻️ Solid waste management
🍳 Clean cookstoves & fuels
🌞 Solar energy
♒️ Renewable power
⚡️ Energy efficiency
Promote #CleanAir for health and #breathelife ! pic.twitter.com/x25j0gtu4D
In many metropolitan areas and cities around the world, pollution levels are five times higher than recommended by the WHO.
This includes Varanasi, which is considered one of the holiest places of Hinduism and attracts millions of pilgrims every year.
In 2013, the threshold was more than 20 times the recommended allowance. In the capital Delhi, it was 14 times higher than in 2016.
The WHO evaluated data from 108 countries, making it the largest database on air pollution in the world.
From this, the WHO concludes that the problem has been identified and that more and more places want to work on improving the situation.
Over half a million people die prematurely each year in the European Region due to household and ambient #AirPollution, according to the newly updated WHO ambient air quality database. https://t.co/1uXCagtzEm pic.twitter.com/KSN0CtKmJG— WHO/Europe (@WHO_Europe) May 2, 2018
Increase in global air pollution since 2008
Global air pollution rose by eight per cent between 2008 and 2013, although there were significant improvements in some countries.
More than 80 percent of the inhabitants of cities where air quality is measured are exposed to levels above WHO limits.
"98 per cent of cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants in countries with predominantly low and middle incomes do not meet WHO air quality targets," the WHO describes. Although this figure has fallen in industrialised countries, it remains at 56 per cent in our present.
Causes of Air Pollution
Air pollution in cities and urban areas results by industrial facilities, burning of waste and chemicals, and automobile traffic. All are contributors to smog in cities.
The demographic population explosion and economic growth are increasing the demand for food, land and water.
This in turn leads to faster extreme changes by humans.
However, this speed-up would be at the expense of nature and biodiversity. It would have a massive impact on the earth's atmosphere, the oceans and ecosystems.