The World Health Organization (WHO) has cautioned that air pollution is far more hazardous than previously thought, since it reduces the maximum acceptable levels of important pollutants like nitrogen dioxide.
According to the WHO, an estimated seven million people die prematurely each year as a result of illnesses connected to air pollution.
Because of their reliance on fossil fuels for economic development, low- and middle-income nations suffer the most.
According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is on par with smoking and bad eating.
Prior to the COP26 conference in November, it is encouraging its 194 member nations to reduce emissions and take action on climate change.
A Deeper Analysis
The limits for what is considered an acceptable level of pollution are being lowered decade by decade.
Toxic particles and gases may affect individuals at far lower levels than previously assumed, which is not news to patients with heart and lung issues.
As a result of the revisions, the UK’s regulatory limits for the most hazardous pollutants are now four times higher than the WHO’s maximum values.
The problem is that the worst pollution – small particles that may enter the lungs – is extremely difficult to eradicate.
Vehicle emissions and gas central heating contribute to pollution. However, hazardous particles are released into the air in other ways – or are produced in the air as a result of chemical reactions.
Paints, cleaning fluids, and solvents are examples of particle sources. Add to that the wear and tear on automobile tyres and brakes, and it’s clear that even electric cars aren’t a perfect answer.
How many individuals are aware that agricultural sludge emits gases that lead to city deaths?
That is why the new guidance is so difficult for governments to implement. If you live in a city, you will find it difficult to avoid pollution no matter how hard you try.
What This Means Moving Forward
The revised standards, which were announced on Wednesday, cut the recommended maximum exposure to PM2.5 particles in half.
These are created by burning fuels in power plants, homes, and automobile engines.
“If current air pollution levels were decreased to those suggested in the revised recommendation, over 80% of fatalities linked to PM2.5 might be prevented throughout the world,” the WHO stated.
It also lowers the recommended limit for another type of microparticle known as PM10s by 25%.
Ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and carbon monoxide are among the other contaminants included in the recommendations.
Heart disease and stroke have been related to pollution in the air. It can stunt a child’s lung growth and exacerbate asthma.
According to the WHO, “improving air quality can help with climate change mitigation measures, while lowering emissions will help with air quality.”