Over 90% of the world population is exposed to air pollution levels exceed the limits indicated by the WHO. The data was processed with the help of researchers from the University of Bath (UK) and is part of a report recently published.
In particular it is emphasized in the report as being sforati the PM2.5, limits limits (as regards the annual average) set at less than 10 micrograms per cubic meter. The possible damage to health come from some pollutants contained in such fine particles: nitrates, sulphates and coal, is able to penetrate deeply into the lung.
Some figures by WHO:
- 7 million deaths annually from pollution
- Approximately 36% of deaths from lung cancer
- 35% of deaths from COPD (pulmonary)
- 34% of deaths from stroke
- 27% of deaths from heart disease
Always by WHO figures we can deduce that 3 million deaths a year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution, but air pollution in closed environments can be just as deadly. In 2012, an estimated 6.5 million deaths (11.6% of all global deaths) were associated with indoor air pollution and external together.
90% of deaths caused by pollution are concentrated in countries with low - middle income and are affected the most vulnerable: the elderly, women and children.
The main sources of air pollution are the inefficient transport, some home heating, waste combustion, coal-fired power and industrial activities.
However, not all air pollution comes from human activities. For example, the air quality can also be affected by dust storms, particularly in regions close to deserts.
Maria Neira, Director of WHO's Department of Public Health said about:
"There are solutions, as a more sustainable transport system, better management of solid waste, the use of cleaner stoves and fuels for domestic use, conjugated to renewable energy and the reduction of industrial emissions."
In September 2015, world leaders have set as a goal the substantial reduction in the number of deaths and illnesses due to air pollution by 2030
In addition, in May 2016, it was approved a new "road map" for accelerated action on air pollution and its causes. The roadmap calls on the health sector to increase air pollution control at the local level, to evaluate the impact on health, and to assume a greater leadership role in national policies regarding air pollution.