07/12/2022
Health

Effect of air pollution on health – 2022

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Effect of air pollution on health

In 2012, it was estimated that outdoor air pollution contributed to 3 million premature deaths worldwide per year. This makes outdoor air pollution among the foremost environmental causes for premature deaths.

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WHO’s Science in 5 : Air pollution, a public health emergency – 2022

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Effect of air pollution on health

In 2012, it was estimated that outdoor air pollution contributed to 3 million premature deaths worldwide per year. This makes outdoor air pollution among the foremost environmental causes for premature deaths. About half of these deaths are attributed to heart disease and stroke, while about 30% are attributed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (including acute respiratory infections) and about 20% are attributed to lung cancer.

Indoor air pollution is also an important problem in many developing countries because of burning certain types of solid fuels such as coal or biomass for heating or cooking indoors.

The relationship between air pollution and adverse health outcomes is a major source of concern.

Air pollution is the world’s largest single environmental health risk. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, dirty air causes more than 6 million deaths globally every year. It cuts short life expectancy by an average of 1.8 years.

Mortality caused by air pollution has increased over recent years in Europe (EEA, 2017). The most vulnerable population groups are children, the elderly, people with pre-existing heart or lung disease and people living in areas with high levels of air pollution. In Europe, these groups account for 543 000 premature deaths per year (EEA, 2018). Air pollution is estimated to shorten life expectancy by nearly two years in those living in some of the most polluted cities in Europe (EFA, 2017).

It has been estimated that air pollution causes about 7% of all global mortality. Air pollution is associated with increases in both cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and cancers, and can lead to chronic bronchitis, emphysema, heart disease, cancer, as well as significant reductions in life expectancy over long periods of exposure. The results vary widely by location and pollutants present.

Air pollution is a known contributor to disease and death. Air pollution may be defined as the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or damages the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere. The atmosphere is a complex dynamic natural gaseous system that is essential to support life on planet Earth. Stratospheric ozone depletion due to air pollution has long been recognized as a threat to human health as well as to the Earth’s ecosystems.

Air pollutants include particulates such as dust, asbestos, soot and smoke; noxious gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ozone (O3); toxic metals such as arsenic; organic compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), hydrogen sulfide…

 

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