More than 90% of the world’s population breathes a polluted air, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Wednesday. In addition, according to the entity, pollution is responsible for seven million deaths per year.
“In the last six years, levels of air pollution remained high and more or less stable, with concentrations down in some regions of Europe and the Americas,” the WHO said in a statement.
“Nine out of ten people breathe air that contains high levels of pollutants,” says the UN agency, a figure that has not changed since the publication of the previous WHO report about it two years ago.
“Air pollution threatens us all, but it is the poorest and most marginalized people who bear the greatest weight,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“It can not be accepted that more than 3,000 million people, especially women and children, continue to breathe every day deadly smoke emitted by furnaces and polluting fuels inside their homes,” he added.
The WHO conclusions are based on the air quality recorded in more than 4,300 cities in 108 countries (1,000 more cities than in the previous report).
According to these data, some seven million people die each year as a result of exposure to fine particles that penetrate deeply into the lungs and into the cardiovascular system, causing conditions such as stroke, heart problems and lung cancer.
Human activity is not the only source of air pollution. Sandstorms, particularly in regions close to a desert, also have an influence on air quality, according to the WHO.
According to the report, more than 90% of deaths linked to pollution occur in low- and middle-income countries, mainly in Asia and Africa.}
Statistics also show that the places where air pollution levels are highest are found in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia, with annual pollution averages often exceeding more than five times. the limits set by WHO.
Then, the most affected are the cities with low or middle income in Africa and the western Pacific.
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