WHO Reports Billions of People Still Breathing Poor Quality Air


by Iqra Zafar

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Over 6000 cities around the globe are now monitoring their air quality. Data obtained from the air quality monitoring across 117 countries revealed that people are breathing unhealthy air having high levels of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter. 

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) level data obtained from WHO reports the unhealthy levels of this fine particulate matter. People who are living in low and middle-income countries are more prone to exposure to these harmful air pollutants. High levels of NO2 are associated with a variety of respiratory disorders and other diseases.

It is important to know that these air quality index criteria were revised last year to help them better evaluate the air quality index. “Current energy concerns highlight the importance of speeding up the transition to cleaner, healthier energy systems.” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “High fossil fuel prices, energy security, and the urgency of addressing the twin health challenges of air pollution and climate change underscore the pressing need to move faster towards a world that is much less dependent on fossil fuels.”


As per the estimate, every year 13 million deaths around the year are due to environmental causes that are still preventable. With proper monitoring and taking measures to improve the quality of air, the burden on global health can be minimized.

“After surviving a pandemic, it is unacceptable to still have 7 million preventable deaths and countless preventable lost years of good health due to air pollution. That’s what we’re saying when we look at the mountain of air pollution data, evidence, and solutions available. Yet too many investments are still being sunk into a polluted environment rather than in clean, healthy air.” said Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health.