What is air pollution?

Air pollution occurs when unhealthy gases, smoke, dust or fine particulates get into the air and make it dirty. It is unsafe for human and animals to breath, and for plants to live with.

Here are some facts on air pollution we should know

  1. 9 out of 10 people worldwide is breathing polluted air.
  2. Air pollution kills 7 million people every year.
  3. 91% of those premature death occurred in low- and middle-income countries, and the greatest number in the WHO South-East Asia Western Pacific region.
  4. Countries should implement better urban planning policies, regulate dirty emissions, and ban highly polluting vehicles.
  5. A microscopic pollutant – PM2.5 – is super tiny and it can pass through many of our body’s protective armours, such as mucous membranes and other barriers, to damage our lungs, heart and brain.
  6. Children are highly affected by air pollution. Exposure to air pollution is linked to respiratory diseases, cancers and cognitive impairment in infants, children and adolescents.
  7. Household air pollution is a significant challenge and 3 billion don’t have access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking.
  8. Individual contributions to a collective effort are very powerful. We should use cleaner burning technologies and fuels for household activities like cooking, heating, or lighting; avoid burning waste; recycle as much as possible, and walk or cycle instead of driving cars.
  9. The key air pollutants include Particulate Matter (PM), a mix of solid and liquid droplets arising mainly from fuel combustion; Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) from road traffic; Ozone (O3) at ground level, caused by the reaction of sunlight with pollutants from industrial facilities and vehicle emissions; and Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), an invisible gas from burning fossil fuels like coal.
  10. Air pollution is also damaging the health of our planet by driving climate change.


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Source/ World Health Organization
Photo/ Na Ru To O

Story posted on
17th Mar, 2020


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