Air pollution causes one of every eight deaths: WHO
New Delhi: World Health Organization (WHO) has said that air pollution is the world's biggest environmental health risk factor affecting everyone in developed as well as in developing countries.
It stated that at least one in eight deaths around the globe is related to air pollution menace.
According to the latest figures from the WHO, air pollution was responsible for over seven million premature deaths in 2012, one million more than tobacco. It also stated that the number of deaths due to air pollution, which include outdoor as well as indoor pollution, have increased four-fold worldwide since 2005.
Globally 4.3 million die each year due to exposure to indoor air pollution and 3.7 million due to exposure to outdoor air pollution. Around 88 per cent of deaths belonged to low- and middle-income countries, and the greatest number in the western Pacific and south-east Asia regions.
The 68th World Health Assembly, which concluded in Geneva last week, passed a resolution to address the health impacts of air pollution. It identified 13 measures that member states should implement, including guidelines to limit exposure to air pollution and working with private and public entities on sustainable solutions.
A study conducted by WHO last year stated that Delhi is the most polluted city in the world when it comes to air quality, worse than Beijing which had previously held the dubious tag.
The 2014 version of the Ambient Air Pollution (AAP) database included results of outdoor air pollution monitoring from almost 1600 cities in 91 countries. It claimed that Delhi has the highest concentration of PM2.5 particulate matters less than 2.5 microns form of air pollution, which is considered most serious.
Latest studies by WHO and other international agencies show that apart from respiratory diseases, exposure to air pollution leads to severe risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.