Health

Nearly everyone in the world is breathing polluted air


(GENEVA, Switzerland) – The United Nations health agency says nearly everyone around the world breathes air that does not meet air quality standards, calling for more action to reduce fuel use. fossil fuels, which produce pollutants that cause respiratory and blood flow problems. problems and lead to millions of preventable deaths each year.

The World Health Organization, about six months after tightening guidelines on Air qualityon Monday issued an update to its air quality database based on information from a growing number of cities, towns and villages around the globe – now totaling more than 6,000 cities. centrally run city.

WHO says 99% of the global population breathing air that exceeds its air quality limits and are often filled with particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs, enter the veins and arteries, and cause disease. WHO Eastern Mediterranean worst air quality and Southeast Asia it indicates the region, followed by Africa.

Dr Maria Neira, head of WHO’s environment, climate change and health division, said: “After surviving the pandemic, it is unacceptable to still have 7 million preventable deaths and countless years of preventable loss of good health due to air pollution”. “However, too much investment is still drowned out in a polluted environment rather than clean, fresh air.”

Databases, traditionally thought of as two types granular matter known as PM2.5 and PM10, included measurements of nitrogen dioxide on the ground for the first time. The final version of the database was released in 2018.

Nitrogen dioxide originates primarily from the combustion of man-made fuels, such as through automobile traffic, and is most common in urban areas. According to the WHO, exposure can cause respiratory illnesses such as asthma and symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, and lead to more hospitalizations and emergency rooms. The highest concentrations are found in the eastern Mediterranean region.

Particulate matter has many sources, such as carriage, power plants, agriculture, incineration and industry – as well as from natural sources such as desert dust. The developing world was hit hard: India had high PM10 levels, while China had high PM2.5 levels, the database showed.

The WHO said: “Particles, especially PM2.5, have the ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream, causing cardiovascular, cerebrovascular (stroke) and respiratory effects. “. “There is emerging evidence that particulate matter affects other organs and causes other diseases.”

The findings highlight the sheer scale of changes needed to combat air pollutionAnumita Roychowdhury, an expert on air pollution at the Center for Science and the Environment, a research and advocacy organization in New Delhi.

She said, India and the world need to prepare for major changes to try to limit air pollution, including using electric vehicles, avoiding fossil fuels, large-scale expansion of green energy. and waste segregation.

The Energy, Environment and Water Council, a New Delhi-based think tank, found in a study that more than 60% of India’s PM2.5 loads come from households and industry.

Tanushree Ganguly, the council’s program head on air quality, has called for action to reduce emissions from domestic industry, automotive, biomass burning and energy.

“We need to prioritize access to clean energy for the households that need it most and take aggressive measures to clean up our industrial sector,” she said.

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