The level of air pollution throughout the planet is increasing at an alarming rate. The data revealed by WHO affirms that nine out of ten people are breathing in air which contains high level of pollutants. Air pollution directly or indirectly claims the lives of about7 million people in a year. The Director-General of WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has pointed out that millions of women and children inhale the harmful gases which are emitted from the polluting stoves and fuels.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus claimed that if urgent action regarding air pollution is not taken, sustainable development would not be possible. WHO has observed that almost seven million people lose their lives because the fine particles present in the pollutants enter their cardiovascular systems and lungs. The individuals suffer from heart diseases, lung cancer, respiratory infections, pneumonia, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.
It has been observed that a major portion of the air-pollution related deaths are common to the low and middle income countries. Asia and Africa tops the list closely followed by the Eastern Mediterranean region, Europe and Americas. Around 3 billion people cannot afford clean cooking fuels and technologies and opt for the alternative methods which are the main source of household pollution. The rate of household pollution is monitored by WHO on a regular basis and it has been observed that it is increasing at an alarming rate.
More Countries Taking Action
More than 180 countries are taking an initiative to curb air pollution along with WHO. The WHO has initiated an air quality database in order to measure the level of air pollution. at present, the data shows that air pollution levels are dangerously high but there have also been some positive progress which should be noted.