Over 95% Of The World’s Population Is Breathing Unhealthy Air

By on May 18, 2018

Not only is 95% of the world’s population breathing unhealthy air, the poorest nations are the hardest hit, claims a recent report.

The research found that the burden of pollution is falling hardest on the poorest communities, with the gap between the most polluted and least polluted countries rising rapidly.
While cities expose billions to unsafe air, people in rural areas face increased indoor air pollution caused by burning solid fuels. One in three people worldwide face the double whammy of unsafe air both indoors and out, the State of Global Air Report found.

Researchers from the Health Effects Institute (HEI) in the US used estimated the numbers of people exposed to air polluted above the levels deemed safe by the World Health Organisation using new satellite data.

This exposure has made air pollution the greatest environmental health risk and the fourth highest cause of death globally, after high blood pressure, diet and smoking.

Exposure to air pollution contributed to more than 6 million deaths worldwide last year, playing a role in increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack, lung cancer and chronic lung disease.
Burning solid fuel such as coal or biomass in their homes for cooking or heating exposed 2.6 billion people to indoor air pollution in 2016, The Guardian reported.

Indoor air pollution can also affect air quality in the surrounding area, with this effect contributing to one in four pollution deaths in India and nearly one in five in China.

In 2017, the World Health Organisation reported that environmental pollutants caused the lives of 1.7 million children under the age of five. While in 2015, nearly one is six deaths, which was estimated at nine million worldwide, was related to some form air, water, soil, chemical or occupational pollution, according to a study published in Lancet.

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