Millions of victims due to air pollution

English Section / 21 iunie

Millions of victims due to air pollution

Versiunea în limba română

Pollution remains a major threat to life on earth. Air pollution, both indoor and outdoor, causes numerous victims globally, including children, and is now much more lethal than smoking, according to a report published under the auspices of UNICEF. More than eight million people, including 700,000 children under the age of five, died in 2021 from causes associated with air pollution, according to this study conducted by scientists from the American Health Effects Institute. The results are based on Global Burden Disease, a gigantic database that includes information from over 200 countries. They have not yet been published in any scientific journal. At the level of mortality reported by the researchers, exposure to air pollution now poses a greater threat than smoking or a poor diet. In most cases, air pollution-related deaths are associated with the inhalation of fine PM2.5 particles - particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter. They favor numerous pathologies: lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc. The authors of the report emphasize the increasingly lethal role of ozone pollution, fueled by episodes associated with climate warming. "We observe an increased number of regions in the world exposed to very short and intense episodes of air pollution", researcher Pallavi Pant, member of the Health Effects Institute, who mentioned forest fires and severe heatwaves, pointed out to AFP. In the case of infant mortality, it is mainly about the use of problematic fuels in the kitchen - coal, wood - especially in Asia and Africa. "We know we can solve these kinds of problems," Pallavi Pant insisted. Efforts have already been made to facilitate access to less hazardous cooking techniques, which have contributed greatly to the reduction in child mortality linked to air pollution by more than half since 2000, according to the report.

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