Air pollution causes 7 million deaths yearly: WHO
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says exposure to air pollution causes seven million premature deaths yearly.
In a publication on its official website on Wednesday, WHO identified air pollution as one of the biggest environmental threats to human health, calling for a global adoption of its Global Air Quality Guidelines.
The organisation stated that exposure to air pollution in children could result in reduced lung growth, cause respiratory infections and asthma.
It also attributed ischemic heart disease and stroke to outdoor air pollution.
“Every year, exposure to air pollution is estimated to cause seven million premature deaths and result in the loss of millions more healthy years of life,” the publication by WHO read.
“In children, this could include reduced lung growth and function, respiratory infections and aggravated asthma. In adults, ischaemic heart disease and stroke are the most common causes of premature death attributable to outdoor air pollution, and evidence is also emerging of other effects such as diabetes and neurodegenerative conditions,” it added.
Speaking on the dangers of air pollution WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the burden and effect of air pollution is felt mostly by middle and low-income countries.
He called on countries to adopt “WHO’s new Air Quality Guideline,” adding that the guidelines are evidence-based and practical tool for improving the quality of the air on which all life depends.
On his part, WHO Regional Director for Europe, Dr Hans Henri P. Klugem said “clean air should be a fundamental human right and a necessary condition for healthy and productive societies.”
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