… sure there is
Ambient (outdoor air pollution) is a major cause of death and disease globally. The health effects range from increased hospital admissions and emergency room visits to increased risk of premature death. An estimated 4.2 million premature deaths globally are linked to ambient air pollution, mainly from heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections in children.
Worldwide ambient air pollution accounts for:
- 29% of all deaths and disease from lung cancer
- 17% of all deaths and disease from acute lower respiratory infection
- 24% of all deaths from stroke
- 25% of all deaths and disease from ischaemic heart disease
- 43% of all deaths and disease from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Pollutants with the strongest evidence for public health concern, include particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2).
The health risks associated with the particulate matter of less than 10 and 2.5 microns in diameter (PM10 and PM2.5) are especially well documented. PM is capable of penetrating deep into lung passageways and entering the bloodstream causing cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and respiratory impacts.
In children and adults, both short- and long-term exposure to ambient air pollution can lead to reduced lung function, respiratory infections, and aggravated asthma. Emerging evidence also suggests ambient air pollution may affect diabetes and neurological development in children. Considering the precise death and disability toll from many of the conditions mentioned are not currently quantified in current estimates, with growing evidence, the burden of disease from ambient air pollution is expected to greatly increase.
“with growing evidence, the burden of disease from ambient air pollution is expected to greatly increase”
- Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health. By reducing air pollution levels, countries can reduce the burden of disease from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma.
- The lower the levels of air pollution, the better the cardiovascular and respiratory health of the population will be, both long- and short-term.
- In 2016, 91% of the world population was living in places where the WHO air quality guidelines levels were not met.
- Ambient (outdoor air pollution) in both cities and rural areas was estimated to cause 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide in 2016.
- Some 91% of those premature deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
- Policies and investments supporting cleaner transport, energy-efficient homes, power generation, industry, and better municipal waste management would reduce key sources of outdoor air pollution.
- In addition to outdoor air pollution, indoor smoke is a serious health risk for some 3 billion people who cook and heat their homes with biomass, kerosene fuels and coal.
Discover how the air quality in your city is and be in the know.