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Nine out of ten people in the world breathe contaminated air, causing 7 million deaths annually from causes directly related to pollution, reported the World Health Organization
Seven million people die every year in the world from breathing polluted air, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a new report on the matter. Nine out of 10 people breathe contaminated air, according to the UN agency.
“The most dramatic thing is that the figures have stabilized, that despite the progress made and the efforts underway, the vast majority of the world’s population, 92%, still breathe contaminated air at very dangerous levels for health. “, reported the Director of Public Health and Environment of the WHO, María Neira.
“Environmental pollution is the greatest challenge to global public health,” he said.
According to the organization’s research, pollution levels have remained stable in the last six years, with small improvements in Europe and the Americas.
According to the UN health agency, fine particle pollution penetrates deep into the lungs and into the cardiovascular system, causing life-threatening diseases such as strokes, heart attacks, pulmonary blockages and respiratory infections, including pneumonia, which is a of the main causes of death of children under 5 years of age.
The WHO differentiates between polluted air outside and inside the home. In the houses comes mainly from the smoke of fire and the burning of wood or kerosene (kerosene) for cooking or lighting. Some 3,000 million people use these sources of heat and energy in the world.
90% of these deaths occur in low and middle income countries, especially in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, with levels that in many cases exceed five times those established by the WHO.
More than 90 percent of deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, especially in Asia and Africa. “In many megacities around the world, pollution is five times higher than what is recommended by the WHO,” said the public health director of the WHO, Maria Meira.
The places with the best air quality are countries with high incomes, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and European nations.
On this occasion some 4,300 cities provided data, above the 3,000 that did in 2016. According to Meira, that means that the problem has been recognized and that the cities are working to improve the situation.
Air Contamination in Pakistan
By now, anyone living in Pakistan would be fully aware of the fact that air pollution has become a serious problem here. Health hazards due to pollution have become a yearly ritual in Pakistan with major cities like Lahore, Peshawar, and Karachi facing heavy smog in the last quarter of every year and endangering a lot of lives.
Air pollution levels have risen once again after the periodic rain showers brought some respite for the residents of the country. According to the data published by Pakistan Air Quality Initiative (PAQI), (Fine Particulate Matter) PM2.5 values for Lahore in October, November, and December were 292, 330, and 191, respectively which are poor according to Lahore High Court’s (LHC) Smog Health Emergency Action Plan.
Lahore is followed by Peshawar having PM2.5 values of 81, 124, and 98, respectively in the last three months of 2017. The air quality for Islamabad with values 60, 77, and 46, and Karachi with values 32, 71, and 71, in October, November, and December, respectively, has also been regarded as “unhealthy” in the PAQI’s preliminary data results for 2017. The report said that air in the months of October, November, and December is affected by crop reside burning and temperature inversion in Punjab.
What’s Pakistan Air Quality Initiative (PAQI)?
The Pakistan Air Quality Initiative (PAQI) is a project of the Pakistan Animal Welfare Society, a registered non-profit that advocates for a healthier environment. PAQI provides community-driven air quality data to increase social awareness.
PAQI has partnered with AirVisual, a crowd-sourced air quality community, to set up low-cost, real-time monitors to capture air quality data and thereby increase social awareness.