Creating an alarm of sorts, air pollution has become the world’s biggest environmental health risk as one in eight deaths is due to this menace, according to World Health Organisation.
This conclusion was reached at the end of a discussion on air pollution and its health impact at the WHO’s health assembly held in Geneva last week. The delegates at the Geneva meet adopted a resolution to address the harmful impacts of air pollution.
With the new threat projection due to air pollution, the warning has serious health implications for countries like India where health infrastructure is yet to be developed.
Last year Delhi was ranked the most polluted among 1,600 cities across the world by the WHO, worse than Beijing which had earlier got this dubious ranking.
There is warning on huge surge in disease burden and deaths because of air pollution.
Deaths due to air pollution (both indoor and outdoor) have increased four-fold across the globe over the past decade, according to the WHO data. While the total number of deaths due to air pollution is 8 million every year, China and India are by far the worst affected countries, says the latest data.
Of the 8 million deaths globally, 3.7 million are from outdoor or ambient air pollution, the data shows. Around 88% of premature deaths due to air pollution exposure occurred in low- and middle-income countries and the greatest number in the western Pacific and south-east Asia regions.