Dirty Air Affects 92% of World’s Population

Dirty Air Is Almost Everywhere in the World

Air pollution is affecting a majority of the global population. Dirty air is more prominent in the Western Pacific, the Mediterranean region, sub-Saharan countries and Southeast Asia, according to an air quality map released Tuesday by the World Health Organization (WHO).

CNN says, based on the interactive map, 92% of the world’s population lives in places where outdoor air quality fails to meet WHO guidelines.

The newly released findings were taken from new satellite data and traditional ground measurements of pollution in about 3,000 places globally.

Where Dirty Air Is Deadly

According to WHO, dirty air affects vulnerable populations in low- and middle-income countries. Aside from that, health risks associated with air pollution are common in these areas. In fact, nearly 90% of deaths linked to air pollution occur in low- and middle-income countries, and nearly two out of three occur in Southeast Asia and Western Pacific regions.

High level of deadly particles were seen in the map. This includes major cities in Europe, such as Paris and London, and those in the United States, such as Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.

Exhaust from factories contributes to air pollution.
Exhaust from factories contributes to air pollution.

How Data Collected

Data were collected from the new WHO map from 2008 to 2015. Findings were based on the annual amount of particulate matter, or PM, found in the air around the world.

PM are particulates that are microscopic solid or liquid matter suspended in the Earth’s atmosphere.

By using satellite measurements, air transport models and ground-station monitors, findings were recorded based in more than 3,000 locations in 103 countries.

According to the WHO, the biggest sources of air pollution include inefficient modes of transport, household fuel and waste burning, coal-fired power plants and industrial activities. Air quality is also influenced by naturally occurring phenomena particularly dust storms in regions in or near deserts.

Air Pollution is Deadly

WHO asserts that air pollution poses a threat to global health as it caused around 6.5 million deaths, or 11.6 percent of all deaths globally in 2012. The deaths are caused by noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular diseases, chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, increased strokes and even lung cancer.

Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.