99% of people breathe polluted air, — The WHO Shutterstock

99% of people breathe polluted air, — The WHO

Katerina Belousova

Air quality is worst in the Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asia

 According to the WHO, 99% of the world's population breathes air,which does not meet quality standards, causing up to 7 million deaths each year due to respiratory and circulatory problems.

The United Nations Health Agency calls for a reduction in the use of fossil fuels, which generate pollutants to prevent deaths and illnesses, informs NBC News.

Air pollutants can penetrate deep into the lungs, enter veins and arteries, and cause disease. Air quality is worst in the Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asia, followed by Africa.

These particles have many sources, namely transport, power plants, agriculture, waste incineration and industry, as well as natural sources such as desert dust.

WHO, about six months after strengthening its air quality guidelines, published an update to its air quality database, which is based on information from 6,000 municipalities.

"After the pandemic survives, it is unacceptable to have 7 million preventable deaths and countless years of lost good health due to air pollution," – said Dr. Maria Neira, head of the WHO's Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health.

She also added that a lot of investment is still in the polluted environment, not in clean, healthy air.

The database, which traditionally examines two types of particulate matter, PM2.5 and PM10, included ground-based measurements of nitrogen dioxide for the first time. The latest version of the database was released in 2018.

Nitrogen dioxide is formed mainly as a result of fuel combustion, for example, through traffic, and is most common in urban areas. Exposure can lead to respiratory asthma and symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing, as well as more hospitalizations and emergency departments.

The highest concentrations were found in the eastern Mediterranean.

The developing world has suffered the most from pollution. Thus, India has a high level of PM10, and China - PM2.5.

We will remind, in the UN declared that the polluted environment killed more people than COVID-19.

As EcoPolitica reported earlier, the impact of the UN Convention on Transboundary Air Pollution was discussed war on air quality Ukraine and other countries.

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