The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that 92% of the world’s population or nine out of 10 people breathe poor quality air.
The United Nations health agency called for urgent action to battle against one of the most dangerous enemies of humans: air pollution. This problem is said to be the cause of more than six million fatalities each year.
According to the global health body of the UN, the new data is extremely alarming. Many people think that air pollution is only horrible in cities, but it is also really bad in rural areas.
In fact, the WHO experts mentioned that poorer countries have very dirty air – much dirtier than in developed areas of the world. But pollution isn’t just about dirty air. It actually affects all countries and parts of society. No one is safe and it should therefore be treated as a public health emergency.
The Shocking Truth
The report was based on data from over 3,000 parts of the globe. It was revealed that 92% of the population is in a place where the air quality exceeds the limits of the World Health Organization. The data gave specific focus on an unsafe particulate matter that has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5), which include the following particulates:
- Sodium chloride
- Mineral dust
- Black carbon
Since most of PM2.5 particulates are toxins that penetrate into the cardiovascular system or the lungs, WHO recommends that PM2.5 should only be in 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air each year. Unfortunately, many regions all over the world go over that as an annual average. This can easily result to millions of death every year as the sufferers are continually exposed to indoor and outdoor air pollution.
Although outdoor pollution is more notoriously popular for killing three million people at the very least, indoor pollution is actually just as harmful. In poorer countries, homes would burn charcoal to cook their food and this is one of the biggest causes of indoor pollution. Almost 90% of deaths that are related to air pollution take place in low to middle income places of the world. Based on the data, the countries that are hit the hardest are:
There are some strategies that can safeguard us from harmful air pollution, but most of them have limited effectiveness. An example is staying indoors all day when the air quality warning says it is bad. This will not accomplish a lot, along with the fact that face masks do little to filter unclean air.