WHO revise air quality guidelines for the first time in over 15 years

The World Health Organization strengthened its global air quality guidelines on Wednesday with its first revision since 2005. The agency said air pollution is one of the “greatest environmental threats to human health.”

“Clean air is the basis of good health,” WHO said. Said.. “When the previous editions of these guidelines were published compared to 15 years ago, we show how air pollution affects various aspects of health at even lower concentrations than previously understood. There is much stronger evidence. “

Under the guidelines, WHO has reduced recommended exposure levels to major pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter. They were adjusted to explain the latest evidence of the health effects of exposure. The study found that particulate matter “less than 10 and 2.5 microns (µm) in diameter” was particularly dangerous and was capable of moving deep into either the lungs or the bloodstream.

On February 6, 2019, a man walks a path in smog and fog on a cold morning in Faridabad, India. Smog levels spike during the winter months in North India, where air quality often exceeds the safety levels of the World Health Organization.

Money Sharma / AFP / Getty Images

According to the WHO, exposure to air pollution kills 7 million people each year and loses millions of years of healthy life expectancy.

“In children, this can include decreased lung growth and function, respiratory infections, and exacerbation of asthma,” WHO said. “In adults, ischemic heart disease and stroke are the most common causes of premature death due to outdoor air pollution, and evidence of other effects such as diabetes and neurodegenerative conditions is also emerging. The burden of illness caused by is on par with other major global health risks, such as unhealthy diets and smoking cigarettes. “

The organization said the effects of air pollution are more prevalent in low-income communities and countries.

“Especially because of the large-scale urbanization and economic development that has relied heavily on fossil fuel combustion, low- and middle-income countries are increasing the level of air pollution, and the gap in air pollution exposure is widening around the world. “It is,” WHO said. ..

The group called on countries to “progress in gradual improvement of air quality, characterized by the achievement of provisional goals,” with the ultimate goal of maintaining recommended pollution levels.

“We know the size of the problem and we know how to solve it,” said Dr. Hans Henri P. Kruge, Director of the European Region of WHO. statement Wednesday. “These updated guidelines provide policy makers with solid evidence and the tools they need to tackle this long-term health burden.”

WHO revise air quality guidelines for the first time in over 15 years

Source link WHO revise air quality guidelines for the first time in over 15 years

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