Posted by Floralyn Teodoro on May 3rd 2018

9 In 10 People Worldwide Breathes Polluted Air, Says WHO

More than 90 percent of the globe’s entire population is faced with the threats of air pollution to human health, but the problem is far worse in the poorest countries.

9 In 10 People Worldwide Breathes Polluted Air, Says WHO

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that more than 90 percent of the entire global population is breathing in high levels of air pollutants. Fresh data from the United Nations’ health body also showed that almost every corner of the globe is faced with the issue of air pollution, with the problem far worse in low- or middle- income countries.

“Air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest and most marginalized people bear the brunt of the burden,” said WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement.

The alarming numbers

7 000 000 deaths. Through WHO’s study about the health-hazardous levels of both outdoor and indoor air pollution, it has been found out that around seven million deaths every year are to be blamed on exposure to fine particles in polluted air. These particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) include sulfate and black carbon. These toxins pose the greatest health risks because they can penetrate deep into the lungs or cardiovascular system.

90 percent. More than 90 percent of these reported deaths linked to air pollution occur in low- or middle- income countries, predominantly in Asia and Africa. New Delhi is also singled out as one of the many world cities struggling to deal with air pollution.

40 percent. WHO also worries that more than 40 percent of the global population still does not have access to clean technologies and cooking fuels in their households, and are still using charcoal and dirty cooking fuels – the major sources of household air pollution.

3 800 000 deaths. Burning charcoal and using dirty cooking fuels lead to an estimated 3.8 million premature deaths each year. “It is unacceptable that over 3 billion people – mostly women and children – are still breathing deadly smoke every day from the use of polluting stoves and fuels in the households,” says Tedros. Though access to clean fuels is increasing in every region, improvements in other regions, like sub-Saharan Africa, aren’t keeping pace.

Its effects to our health

According to WHO, air pollution can cause diseases like strokes, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, respiratory infections such as pneumonia, and worse, premature death.

Countries taking action

“We are seeing an acceleration of political interest in this global public health challenge. The increase in cities recording air pollution data reflects a commitment to air quality assessment and monitoring. Most of this increase has occurred in high-income countries, but we hope to see a similar scale-up monitoring of efforts worldwide,” says Dr. Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Public Health, Social and Environmental Determinants of Health, at WHO.

To increase awareness and provide solutions to the serious issue of air pollution that’s affecting all parts of the world, WHO launched the first-ever global event on air pollution and health. The global conference will take place on the coming October 30 to November 1 of this year at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Participants of the upcoming conference will include representatives from the government, agencies, research and academe, health professionals, and the like. Invitations for the conference will be issued this month of May.

Sessions from The Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health will also be facilitated by webcasting and live-streaming for remote participation.

The WHO encourages everyone, all over the world, to take part in their movement of improving air quality, combatting climate change, and saving lives.

Want to start finding a lasting solution for the indoor air pollution in your home? Get in touch with us today by calling us at 1-800-444-3563 (Toll-Free) or 1-772-919-8700 (Outside U.S.)!