Almost everyone now breathing polluted air, warns WHO

Burning fossil fuels emits a number of air pollutants that are harmful to both the environment and public health (Photo via UN)
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(United Nations News) An astonishing 99 per cent of the world’s population breathes polluted air that exceeds internationally approved limits, with negative health impacts kicking in at much lower levels than previously thought, UN medical scientists said on Monday.

Noting that fossil fuels are responsible for most of the harmful emissions that are linked to acute and chronic sickness, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for tangible steps to curb their use.

The UN agency also urged more governments to take note that it has made significant revisions to its air quality indicators, including for particulate matter – known as PM2.5 – that can enter the bloodstream, along with nitrogen dioxide (NO2), another common urban pollutant and precursor of particulate matter and ozone.

“It has been recognised that air pollution has an impact at a much lower level than previously thought,” said Dr. Sophie Gumy, Technical Officer at WHO’s Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health.

Read more at: United Nations News

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