WHO says 9 out of 10 people breathe unclean air

  • About 90% of the world’s population is exposed to harmful air
  • Most of the harmful gases lead to 7 million casualties every year

Newly-released data from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that 9 out of 10 people inhale polluted air. In other words, around 90% of the world’s population is exposed to high level of air pollutants.

WHO released a statement on Wednesday, May 2,  regarding the condition of the air we are breathing. The organization said there are around 7 million casualties every year due to air pollutants.

The UN health body emphasized that the poor air quality is worse on third world countries, specifically in the depressed areas found in Asia and Africa. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO chief said, “Air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest and most marginalized people bear the brunt of the burden.”

The study, which focused on harmful particulate matter, a mix of solid and liquid droplets in the air, with an aerodynamic diameter of between 2.5 and 10 micrometers (PM10), and particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5), which includes toxins like sulfate and black carbon have been observed to give adverse effects on human health as it could penetrate deep into the lungs or cardiovascular system.

These outdoor particulates usually come from fuel-powered vehicles, factories, and power plants. Tedros also mentioned that sources of air contaminants may also come from indoor gases released by some stoves and fuels.

These noxious air pollutants can cause diseases like strokes, heart disease, lung cancer and several respiratory infections like pneumonia.

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