92 Percent Of The World's Population Breathes Substandard Air

92 Percent Of The World's Population Breathes Substandard Air

The World Health Organization says 92 percent of the world's population breathes air containing pollutants exceeding WHO limits, in new research released Tuesday. The new WHO air-quality model, which uses satellite data and ground measurements, "represents the most detailed outdoor (or ambient) air pollution-related health data, by country, ever reported by WHO," according to a press release from the organization. The report used information from nearly 3,000 places from around the world, doubling the amount of data from the last assessment of this kind. The WHO research measured particulate matter in the air, such as "sulphates, nitrates, ammonia, sodium chloride, black carbon, mineral dust and water." It did not account for known pollutants such as nitrogen oxides or ozone — meaning that these are likely conservative figures. The pollution levels had a staggering impact on health, according to the report, which said: "In 2012, one out of every nine deaths was the result of air pollution-related conditions." The number of deaths attributable to both indoor and outdoor air pollution totaled approximately 6.5 million worldwide, of which 3 million deaths were blamed on outdoor air pollution — the focus of this report. "Air pollution continues take a toll on the health of the most vulnerable populations — women, children and the older adults," Dr. Flavia Bustreo, assistant director general at WHO, said in a press release. "For people to be healthy, they must breathe clean air from their first breath to their last."

Read More: NPR

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