WHO: Air pollution top environmental health risk

As per the new estimate of World Health Organization (WHO), Air pollution is the world’s single largest environmental health risk that caused 7 million deaths in 2012, 80% of which were from heart attacks and stroke.

Excerpts of the UN health agency World Health Organization (WHO) report

  • Air pollution ranges from cooking fires to auto fumes.
  • Biggest pollution-related killers: heart disease, stroke, pulmonary disease and lung cancer.
  • Hardest-hit regions: Southeast Asia viz. India and Indonesia, and the Western Pacific, ranging from China and South Korea to Japan and the Philippines.
  • Indoor air pollution: The global death toll is 4.3 million deaths, caused by cooking over coal, wood and biomass stoves.
  • Outdoor pollution: The global death toll is 3.7 million, with sources ranging from coal heating fires to diesel engines.
  • Outdoor air pollution caused by car exhausts, power stations, emissions from agriculture and industry, heating in people’s homes (Group 1 carcinogenic, a cancer causing agent in the same category as tobacco smoke, UV radiation and plutonium).

Note: Its’ first time, WHO has directed a link between air pollution and heart disease, respiratory problems and cancer. The latest figures of 2012 are more than doubles from the previous estimates of deaths caused by air pollution in 2008.

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Categories: Current Affairs 2014

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