News / Health

Millions Die Every Year From Air Pollution

A man and his dog, both wearing masks, walk along a small alley on a hazy day in Beijing, February 23, 2014.
A man and his dog, both wearing masks, walk along a small alley on a hazy day in Beijing, February 23, 2014.
Lisa Schlein
The World Health Organization reports air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. A new report finds seven million people died from exposure to air pollution in 2012, more than double the number previously estimated in 2008.

 Air pollution is a global problem; the World Health Organization reports one in eight people around the world die from air pollution.  

It says new data show people exposed to indoor and outdoor air pollution die prematurely from cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and ischaemic heart disease, as well as chronic pulmonary diseases and cancer.

The World Health Organization reports most deaths from air pollution occur in low-and middle-income countries in Southeast Asia and the western Pacific, where about half the world’s population cook and heat their homes using open fires and simple stoves.  
AIR POLLUTION DEATHS

Outdoor air pollution
 40% - Ischemic heart disease
 40% - Stroke
 11% - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
 6% - Lung cancer
 3% - Acute lower respiratory infections in children

Indoor air pollution
34% - Stroke
26% - Ischemic heart disease
22% - COPD
12% - Acute lower respiratory infections in children
6% - Lung cancer

Source: WHO
Health officials say the use of coal and biomass fuels, such as wood, animal dung and crop waste is responsible for 4.2 million people dying prematurely in 2012.  They link an additional 3.7 million deaths in urban and rural areas to outdoor air pollution.

WHO Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health coordinator, Dr. Carlos Dora, said clean air cannot be bought in a bottle.  

“To resolve this issue, it is quite important that countries, nations take action, which is more or less coordinated and the reason for that is the air shared-small particles travel thousands of kilometers, normally around the hemisphere traveling east. So pollution in one country will affect a number of other countries downwind," said Dora.

Dora said air pollution used to be worse in developed than in developing countries. But he says developed countries, notably the United Kingdom, and United States have taken action, which has dramatically reduced air pollution during the past decade.

“We know those interventions work on energy especially. On transportation, better engines, cleaner fuels, more efficient energy technologies, reduction in the need for the use of energy, insulation of houses, etc. Clean energy, solar, wind, energy that does not use combustion is better than those that do use combustion," he said.

Dora said in most cases healthier air pollution strategies will be more economical in the long run because health care costs will go down.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid