Children are especially at risk because of the immaturity of their respiratory organ systems. In 2015, it was estimated that outdoor air pollution, mainly from PM2.5, led to 3.3 (95% CI 1.61-4.81) million premature deaths per year worldwide, mainly in Asia. In 2021, the WHO reported that outdoor air pollution caused an estimated 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide in 2016. A 2020 study indicates that the global average loss of life expectancy (LLE; similar to YPLL) due to air pollution in 2015 was 2.9 years, significantly more than, say, 0.3 years for all forms of direct violence, although a significant portion of LLE is inevitable.
Integrating air pollution reduction into policies to combat non-communicable diseases generates multiple environmental, economic and health benefits. Access to clean household energy → Access to clean energy in households should be higher on the global energy, health and climate agendas. Air pollution in homes is one of the world’s biggest health risks to the environment and a major source of global warming pollution. To achieve the SDG 7 goals for universal access to modern energy, 3 billion people must have access to clean cooking solutions and 1 billion must have access to electricity by 2030. The health effects of air pollution are serious: one-third of deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease are due to air pollution. This has an effect that is similar to smoking tobacco, and much higher than, for example, the effects of eating too much salt.
In all cases, it appears that mortality was closely related to the levels of fine, inhalable and sulfated particles rather than to the levels of total particulate contamination, aerosol acidity, sulfur dioxide or nitrogen dioxide. In Pakistan, the World Bank has carried out analytical work that has helped raise awareness of the severity of air pollution and its impact on human health. The analytical work also identified cost-effective interventions to reduce outdoor air pollution and opportunities to strengthen the institutional framework for air quality management. Particulate matter is the air pollutant that is most harmful to human health and the main cause of death caused by air pollutants. →Air pollution is the second leading cause of non-communicable diseases, such as stroke, cancer and heart disease, which are on the rise worldwide. In many countries, these diseases can only be significantly reduced by improving air quality.
In cooperation with the client’s countries, the Bank also carries out analytical work to identify environmental priorities for poverty reduction. Recent analytical work by the Bank assessed global estimates of the health burden of outdoor air pollution and the implications for low- and middle-income countries. Another study looked at opportunities and challenges in filling air quality data gaps in low- and middle-income countries. Other analytical work has evaluated the performance of air quality measurement satellites in low- and middle-income countries; as well as the health consequences of exposure to natural chemical components and sources of fine particles. In addition, interventions have been developed to reduce air pollution in addition to work that addresses the links between pollution, health, climate change and fiscal solutions.
“These are also most often emitted during the combustion of gas or coal, combustion or, in the case of benzene, are found in gasoline,” walke says. Benzene, classified as a carcinogen by the EPA, can cause short-term irritation of the eyes, skin and lungs and long-term blood disorders. Dioxins, which are usually found in food, but also present in small amounts in the air, can affect the liver in the short term and damage the immune system, nervous system and endocrine system, as well as reproductive functions. In large amounts, lead can damage children’s brains and kidneys, and even minimal exposure can affect children’s IQ and learning ability.
Air pollution causes more than half of all infant mortality from acute lower respiratory tract infection in children under the age of 5 in lower-middle-income countries. Exposure to air pollution has been linked to a wide range of adverse health outcomes in children, including infant mortality, asthma, Fallout shelter neurodevelopmental disorders and childhood cancer. By prescribing clean air for children, legislators can protect them from the lifelong effects of exposure to air pollution. Based on the magnitude of the impact on public health, it is true that different types of interventions should be considered.
Acid rain also threatens wildlife, especially aquatic animals, as most work with the optimal pH value between 6.5 and 8.5. But the best and most effective way to control air pollution is to accelerate our transition to cleaner fuels and industrial processes. Smog (sometimes called ground-level ozone) occurs when emissions from burning fossil fuels react with sunlight.
These hazardous pollutants are known as criteria pollutants and include ozone, particulates, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and lead. Protective measures are being taken to ensure children’s health in cities such as New Delhi, India, where buses now use compressed natural gas to remove smog from “pea soup”. A recent study in Europe has shown that exposure to ultrafine particles can increase blood pressure in children. According to a 2018 WHO REPORT, polluted air leads to the poisoning of millions of children under the age of 15, resulting in the deaths of about six hundred thousand children each year. Ozone is also a gaseous pollutant; It is formed in the atmosphere by complex chemical reactions that occur between nitrogen dioxide and various volatile organic compounds (e.g., gasoline vapors).
A child who performs strenuous exercises will have faster breathing than a child who performs sedentary activities. Therefore, daily exposure should include the amount of time spent in each microenvironment, as well as the type of activities that take place there. The concentration of air pollutants in each microactivity/microenvironmental environment is added together to indicate exposure. For some pollutants, such as black carbon, traffic-related exposures can dominate overall exposure, despite short exposure times, because high concentrations coincide with proximity to major roads or traffic participation. Much of the total daily exposure occurs as short peaks of high concentrations, but it is unclear how to define peaks and determine their frequency and health impact.