92 percent of world’s population is breathing unhealthy air: WHO

Posted on:29 Sep 2016 09:19:24

92 percent of world’s population is breathing unhealthy air: WHO
29 September 2016 Current Affairs: World Health Organization (WHO) has released its report on pollution, which is extremely worrying on 27 September 2016. The report claims that 92 percent of the world’s population lives in places where air quality levels exceed WHO limits. This mean, 9 out of 10 people globally are breathing poor quality air.

Maria Neira, head of the WHO's department of public health and environment, termed the report as a 'public health emergency'. She also urged governments to take up measures like cutting the number of vehicles on the road, improving waste management and promotion of clean cooking fuel.

The WHO report is based on data collected from more than 3000 sites across the globe. According to the report, poorer countries have much dirtier air than the developed world.

The report is based on WHO’s new air quality model that is based on data derived from satellite measurements, air transport models and ground station monitors. The model was developed by WHO in collaboration with the University of Bath, United Kingdom.

Some 3 million deaths a year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution can be just as deadly. In 2012, an estimated 6.5 million deaths (11.6% of all global deaths) were associated with indoor and outdoor air pollution together.

Nearly 90 percent of air-pollution-related deaths occur in low and middle-income countries, with nearly 2 out of 3 occurring in WHO’s South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions.

WHO says that 94 percent are due to non-communicable diseases – notably cardiovascular diseases, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. Air pollution also increases the risks for acute respiratory infections.


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