International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies
Аir pollution is the single greatest environmental risk to human health and one of the main avoidable causes of death and disease globally.
The WHO estimates that 80% of current deaths attributed to air quality could be avoided if governments implement its recommendations.
Particularly in developing countries, air pollution disproportionately affects women, children and the elderly, especially in low-income populations as they are often exposed to high levels of ambient air pollution and indoor air pollution from cooking and heating with wood fuel and kerosene.
Аir pollution is a global problem with far-reaching impacts owing to its transport over long distances. In the absence of aggressive intervention, the number of premature deaths resulting from ambient air pollution is estimated to increase more than 50 per cent by 2050.
Tiny, invisible particles of pollution penetrate deep into our lungs, bloodstream and bodies. These pollutants are responsible for about one-third of deaths from stroke, chronic respiratory disease, and lung cancer, as well as one quarter of deaths from heart attack. Ground-level ozone, produced from the interaction of many different pollutants in sunlight, is also a cause of asthma and chronic respiratory illnesses.
Society bears a high cost of air pollution due to the negative impacts on the economy, work productivity, healthcare costs and tourism, among others. Hence, the economic benefits of investing in air pollution control cannot be overestimated, and it must be understood that there is also an economic rationale to act and that cost-effective solutions exist to address air pollution.
Some air pollutants, such as black carbon, methane and ground-level ozone, are also short-lived climate pollutants and are responsible for a significant portion of air pollution-related deaths, as well as impacts on crops and hence food security, so their reduction has co-benefits for the climate.
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