Pakistan experiences steepest increase in air pollution levels

Modesto Morganelli
Aprile 17, 2018

"Nowhere is that risk more evident than in the developing world", Greenbaum noted, "where a third of the world's population faces a double burden of indoor and outdoor air pollution".

The report by the Health Effects Institute used new findings such as satellite data and better monitoring to estimate the numbers of people exposed to air polluted above the levels deemed safe by the World Health Organisation. Combustion emissions from multiple sources, including household solid fuel use, coal-fired power plants, agricultural and another open burning, and industrial and transportation-related sources have contributed to the increase in air pollution.

However, while the figures for air pollution are high, the study has found that the number of deaths attributed to unsafe air has significantly decreased globally since the 1990s.

Experts estimate that exposure to air pollution contributed to more than 6m deaths worldwide past year, playing a role in increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack, lung cancer and chronic lung disease. Indoor air pollution can also affect air quality in the surrounding area, with this effect contributing to one in four pollution deaths in India and almost one in five in China. While developed countries have made moves to clean up, many developing countries have fallen further behind as they continue to seek economic growth.

But he added: "There are reasons for optimism, though there is a long way to go. India has really begun to step up on indoor air pollution, for instance through the provision of LPG [liquefied petroleum gas] as a cooking fuel, and through electrification".

Pollution: More than 95 per cent of the global population breathes air which is above the recommended level for air pollution.

Household air pollution and ambient particular matter-a component of outdoor pollution-were listed individually among the top ten risk factors, and were tied to a combined 6.7 million deaths in 2016, the previous year studied.

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