A report released recently by World Health Organisation claims that air pollution is still a major threat to humans causing cancer, strokes and other serious health issues with one in eight global deaths being linked to toxic air pollution, making it “the single biggest environmental health risk in the world” according to the organisation spokesman.
It’s not just outside air pollution that causes concern but indoor air pollutants too. The World Health Organisation claim that a staggering 3.3 million people died in 2012 from illnesses directly related to indoor air pollution and 2.6 million deaths were attributed to outdoor air pollution with the low and middle income countries bearing the brunt of these figures.
World Health Organisation’s Dr Maria Neira stated “The risks from air pollution are now much greater than previously considered or understood, particularly for illness such as heart disease and strokes. Few risks have a greater impact on global health today than air pollution. The evidence signals the need for concerted action to clean up the air we all breathe. Reducing air pollution both indoors and outside could potentially save millions of lives worldwide.”
I have often thought that if the fumes we omit from the rear of our cars were bright red so we could clearly see them would we still drive?, cars or vehicles are a major contributor to air pollution outside as is industrial pollution but what causes indoor air pollution? Many of us would not even consider indoor air being a problem to our health but the list of causes is quite extensive. Outside air, second hand cigarette smoke, air bourne bacteria, moulds and dead skin cells even some air fresheners are just a few of the things that can cause internal air pollution and be detrimental to our health.
The World Health organisation claimed that the deaths related to air pollution were linked to cardiovascular diseases and illnesses.
40% – heart disease
40% – stroke
11% – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
6% – lung cancer
3% – acute lower respiratory infections in children.
For deaths related to indoor pollution, it found:
34% – stroke
26% – heart disease
22% – COPD
12% – acute lower respiratory infections in children
6% – lung cancer
Clearly more needs to be done to tackle these important issues by world governments and local councils alike, we can all do our bit by considering what we do and how we do it, after all one thing we have in common regardless of race, colour or creed and regardless of rich or poor is the air we breathe…. It’s everyone’s problem.