Sunday, February 25th, 2024

This big threat looms over 99 percent of the world’s population, revealed in the international report


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New Delhi: 99 percent of the world’s population is in the grip of a major threat. This disclosure has been made on the basis of a new study released on Monday in Lancet Planet Health. According to the report, almost everyone i.e. 99 percent of the global population is exposed to unhealthy levels of tiny and harmful air pollutants, known as PM 2.5. The findings are for policy makers, public health officials and researchers to focus on curbing emissions from major sources of air pollution, such as power plants, industrial facilities and vehicles.

The study’s lead author Yuming Guo told The Washington Post in an email that “almost no one is protected from air pollution. The surprising result is that almost all parts of the world have annual air quality guidelines higher than those recommended by the World Health Organization.” The average PM 2.5 concentration is higher.” According to recent estimates, air pollution caused at least 7 million deaths worldwide in 2019. Small air particles that measure 2.5 microns or less in width are among the most toxic air pollutants to human health. These are known as PM 2.5. Tiny air pollutants one-third the width of a human hair can get into our lungs and cause breathing problems. They can cause other diseases, including heart disease or lung cancer.

70% of the days in a year are passing in dangerous air pollution

The report also claimed that around 70 per cent of the days of the year around the world, people are facing dangerous pollution. Guo and his/her colleagues assessed worldwide PM 2.5 concentrations from 2000 to 2019 using computer models that combined traditional air quality observations, chemical transport model simulations and meteorological data from ground stations. Overall, the highest concentrations were located in East Asia, Southern Asia and North Africa. In 2019 they found that only one in a thousand people (0.001 percent of the global population) are exposed to levels of PM 2.5 pollution that the World Health Organization considers safe. The agency has said that annual concentrations greater than 5 micrograms per cubic meter are dangerous. Additionally, the study found that 70 percent of days in a year worldwide exceeded the recommended PM 2.5 levels.

Pollution increased from Latin America to South Asia
The study found that over the past two decades, exposure to pollution has increased in countries in southern Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America and the Caribbean. Meanwhile exposure to fine particles has decreased in Europe and North America over the past two decades. “The study found that levels went down in North America and Europe, but it’s still not a safe level of air pollution,” said Tummala, co-director of the Climate Health Institute at George Washington University. “It’s still poor air quality that is affecting health.” In some places, air pollution was even higher depending on the time of year. For example, particulate matter levels increased in Northeast China during winter, which the authors infer from winter weather patterns and increased use of fossil fuels for heating during the colder months. Countries in the Amazon, such as Brazil, showed high levels of particulate matter during August and September, potentially linked to emissions from farmers clearing land with fire, known as slash-and-burn farming. Is known. Tummala said that laws and concerted efforts aimed at reducing air pollution can be the right way to stop it.

Study done in April 2022
This study based on air pollution has been done in April 2022. The WHO data also found that unhealthy air affects about 99 percent of the global population. Thomas Muenzel, a physician at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, said the study’s results also fit his/her previous research, which found a high number of excess deaths. Most of them are related to cardiovascular problems and the reason for which is air pollution. “Air pollution isn’t getting that much attention,” Muenzel said in an email. “The most powerful way to reduce excess mortality is to reduce fossil fuel emissions.

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