Africa's air pollution is a deadly and growing problem

Share

Air pollution kills more than one lakh children under the age of five in India every year, and it is responsible for 12.5% of all deaths in the country, the Centre for Science and Environment said in a report published on Tuesday on the eve of World Environment Day. As per the World Health Organization, nine out of ten persons are breathing air that contains high levels of pollutants.

For this year's World Environment Day, UN Environment has asked individuals around the world to choose an action that they will undertake to reduce air pollution while wearing a mask and post a photograph on social media using the hashtags #BeatAirPollution #WorldEnvironmentDay.

Air pollution is one of the world's largest threats to human health, killing around seven million people prematurely each year. Air pollution is a continuing challenge in more-developed countries and is increasing in less-developed areas, posing new air quality concerns.

David Boyd, UN special rapporteur on human rights and environment, also urged member states to beat air pollution to fulfil their human rights obligations.

United Kingdom households are experiencing risky levels of indoor air pollution due to "significant" levels of formaldehyde, a human carcinogen that is found in adhesives in wood products such as MDF, carpets, furniture, paints and varnishes.

Ozone (at the ground level) causes asthma, bronchial symptoms, lung inflammation, reduced lung function and affects foetal brain growth in pregnant women.

"The PM 2.5 is a little shocking, its slightly higher which means that most of our pm 2.5 suspended particles, its comes from combustion sources and burning fuels and things like that so it does point to traffic mostly, combustion sources".

After Greta Thunberg started boycotting school in favour of standing outside the Swedish Parliament to hand out flyers, reminding politicians that they pledged to reduce carbon emissions as per the Paris Climate Accord, thousands of students around the world participated in "Fridays for the Future", culminating in a global strike on March 15th, 2019.

In 2018, the third United Nations High-level Meeting on NCDs recognized household and outdoor air pollution as a risk factor for NCDs, alongside unhealthy diets, tobacco smoking, harmful use of alcohol and physical inactivity. Previous year it was Beat Plastic Pollution, and its impact was felt everywhere as celebrities from all over the world joined in the fight against plastic pollution.

We often can not see "Air pollution" though it is all around us.

Outside their homes, 60 per cent said they turn off the vehicle engine when idle with 58 per cent keeping it properly tuned, while 49 per cent said they reduce individual auto use by opting for vehicle pools or public transport.

A report on China air quality improvement published on Wednesday's event also marked the progress China has made in its battle against bad air.

The report found gas-based power plants are running at 24 percent of their capacity, and hydropower projects are running at just 19 percent.

To improve air quality, we need to tackle the many sources of air pollution.

Share