Published: Thu, May 03, 2018

Air pollution levels 'dangerously high' in many countries

Air pollution levels 'dangerously high' in many countries

The WHO has called upon member-countries in its Southeast Asia region to aggressively address the double burden of household and ambient (outdoor) air pollution, saying the region accounts for 34 per cent or 2.4 million of the seven million premature deaths caused by household and ambient air pollution globally every year.

Fresh data from the United Nations health body showed that every corner of the globe is dealing with air pollution, although the problem is far worse in poorer countries. It has contested the count of air pollution deaths in India by global agencies, noting that they are based on estimations and not on primary data from the country.

Fourteen Indian cities, led by the northern metropolis known for its leather and shoe industries, feature in the 15 cities with the dirtiest air in the WHO´s global list.

According to World Health Organization, global air pollution is linked to inefficient energy use in every sector of human activity: coal-fired power plants, industry, agriculture and transport.

Air pollution does not recognize borders.

Professor Gavin Shaddick, from the University of Exeter, led the worldwide team that produced the new estimates of global air quality.

"The government has made serious efforts to deal with air pollution".

Said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy, CSE, "This is a grim reminder that air pollution has become a national public health crisis". Exeter scientists are working with the WHO to make models that consolidate data from various distinctive sources to enable exposures to be evaluated around the world.

Many of the UK's cities also have air quality levels that far exceed the safe guidelines set out by the World Health Organisation.

But some areas of Europe and the Americas have begun to see declines in the concentration of air pollution, the study found.

Port Talbot, in Wales, has the highest figure at 18. London, meanwhile, was ranked 2,937th.

In October previous year the figure was 14 - with the latest data showing a seeming reduction in air pollution. Air quality can also be influenced by natural elements such as geographic, meteorological and seasonal factors. This is essential for understanding the magnitude of the global risk to health.

Despite the fall, PM levels were much higher than the national air quality standards and several times the World Health Organization standards.

More than 4300 cities in 108 countries are now included in WHO's ambient air quality database, making this the world's most comprehensive database on ambient air pollution.

'We must not be complacent about United Kingdom air pollution, but in global terms, things really aren't at all bad here, ' he said.

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