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90% of People in the World Breathe Bad Air – Claims World Health Organization

 

The statement given by the World Health Organization on September 27 says that a dramatic action is needed in order to fight pollution. According to them, bad air is to be blamed for over six million deaths each year!

The head of department of public health and environment of the World Health Organization, Dr Maria Neira says that recent reports are alarming. Not only is the air bad in large cities, it’s polluted in rural areas as well.

According to her, pollution affects all parts of the world, even the most developed countries. A fast action is needed as the whole human population is in danger. She suggests making improvements in waste management, but also making changes when it comes to cooking fuel. Neira also suggest governments need to start thinking about reducing the number of vehicles on the roads.

The data for this research was gathered in 3,000 different locations around the planet and it found that 92% of people are breathing bad air, that is, air with quality levels that are lower than the levels recommended by the World Health Organization.

This research was focused on pollution related to the matter with a diameter of up to 2.5 micrometers or PM2.5. This includes everything from sulfate to black carbon. These toxins are dangerous as they can get deep in the lungs or even the cardiovascular system. The air that contains more than 10 microgrammes per cubic meter of PM2.5 is considered polluted.

A Bad Diagnosis Keeps a Portuguese Man in Wheelchair for 43 Years

In order to gather the data, researchers from the WHO used satellite data in combination with ground readings. According to Dr Neira, the WHO now has more than enough information that confirm a large-scale problem.

The data conducted by the WHO estimates that there are over 3 million deaths each year that are caused by outdoor pollution. When it comes to indoor pollution, this issue is a huge problem in developing countries, in which many people still use charcoal for cooking. In fact, poor people are those most likely to die from air pollution.

The WHO claims that over 90 percent of deaths caused by air pollution happen in low and mid-income countries. The regions that are the most affected by this problem include the Western Pacific region and South-east Asia. This includes countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, and China. Overall, 80% of city dwellers breathe bad air, while that percentage rises to 98% in poor countries.

Dr Carlos Dora from the World Health Organization says that the efforts made by certain governments are far from being enough. According to him, those strategies have a limited effect. For example, Beijing uses daily air quality warnings to help the citizens, but the warnings don’t do much for their health. As the danger is the exposure to sub-par air over a long-term, staying away from bad air for one day is not enough. On top of that, Dr Dora warns that face masks are not the real solution. In fact, according to him, there is not enough evidence that these masks can protect from pollution.

http://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/over-90-per-cent-of-world-breathing-bad-air-who

 

 

 

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