New Data: Air Pollution Impacts 92% of World’s Population

Robin Azer |



The World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that 92 percent of the World’s Population is impacted by Air Pollution. Hardest hit are densely populated cities in developing countries. The data, released earlier this week, is based on information collected from numerous sources including satellite images, air transport models and more than 3,000 ground station monitors around the world. One of the most comprehensive studies the WHO has ever completed, it concludes that nearly nine out of ten people live in regions where the air quality does not meet healthy guidelines.To analyze this latest round of data, sixteen scientists from around the world collaborated with the WHO.

“Fast action to tackle air pollution can’t come soon enough. Solutions exist with sustainable transport in cities, solid waste management, access to clean household fuels and cook-stoves, as well as renewable energies and industrial emissions reductions.” Dr. Maria Neira, WHO Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health

Pollution Comparison Credit:

 The consequences to human heath exposed to prolonged high levels of toxic air pollution are extensive. More than 3 million deaths per year are attributed to this issue, with 90 percent occurring in low – middle – income countries.  The worst hit nations by the numbers: China with more than 1 million deaths  per year,  India with 600,00 and Russia with more than 140,000.

Health Risks:

  • Three million premature births worldwide
  • Decreased lung function
  • Aggravated asthma
  • Development of bronchitis, emphysema and possibly cancer
  • Heart Attacks
  • Death


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