99% of world breathes unhealthy air: new WHO data

What is the News?

Ahead of the World Health Day (7th April), the World Health Organization (WHO) has released the Air Quality Database 2022.

What is the Air Quality Database 2022?

The WHO air quality database compiles data on annual mean concentrations of particulate matter(PM) and nitrogen dioxide(NO2).

The data compiled in this database is used as input to derive the Sustainable Development Goal Indicator 11.6.2, Air quality in cities for which WHO is the custodial agency.

What are the key findings of the report?

Exceeds WHO’s air quality limits: Almost the entire global population (99%) breathes air that exceeds WHO’s air quality limits.

Unhealthy Air: More than 6,000 cities in 117 countries are now monitoring air quality, but their residents are still breathing unhealthy levels of fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide. People in low and middle-income countries suffer the highest exposure.

Increased Collection of Data: As many as 2,000 more cities and human settlements are now recording ground monitoring data for particulate matter, PM10 and/or PM2.5, than in the last update (2018). This marks an almost six-fold rise in reporting since the database was first made in 2011.

Impact of PM 2.5 and NO2 on Health: Particulate matter, especially PM 2.5, is capable of penetrating deep into the lungs and entering the bloodstream, causing Cardiovascular, Cerebrovascular (stroke), and Respiratory Impacts.

– NO2 is associated with respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, leading to respiratory symptoms (such as coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing), hospital admissions, and visits to emergency rooms.

What are the WHO’s New Air Quality Guidelines?

Click Here to read about it

Source: This post is based on the article “99% of world breathes unhealthy air: new WHO data” published in Indian Express on 4th April 2022.

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