New WHO alert on air quality | In deep

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The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a new alert call for air quality, warning that almost the entire population of the planet breathes unhealthy air.

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At the beginning of April, the entity indicated that the air that is breathed does not meet quality standards. 99 percent of the world’s population must live with air that usually has particles capable of penetrating deep into the lungs.

For the director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health of the WHO, María Neira, “after surviving a pandemic, it is unacceptable that there continue to be 7 million avoidable deaths and innumerable years of good health lost due to pollution of the air.

In addition, he stressed that despite the situation that has been reported, and that affects people’s health, “too many investments continue to be made in a polluted environment instead of in clean and healthy air.”

Alert

The WHO urged to reduce the use of fossil fuels, as it generates pollutants that, in turn, trigger respiratory and circulatory problems, in addition to causing millions of deaths.

Regarding air pollution, it is not difficult to recall the traditional image of a layer of toxic fog in the environment, a reality that has been experienced in several world capitals.

“More than 6,000 cities in 117 countries are now monitoring air quality, but the people who live in them still breathe air that exceeds quality limits” set by the WHO.

However, it is a much more complex issue and in which different factors intervene, such as industrial processes, the burning of fossil fuels or the use of natural resources.

Some direct causes of pollution

Among the direct causes that can be mentioned, and are linked to air pollution, are:

– Burning of petroleum, coal and oils: any process in which the burning of materials such as those referred to or their derivatives occurs, already entails damage to the ozone layer and the environment.

– Misuse of electricity: it is not electricity itself, but the way in which it is obtained, since various power plants resort to chemical processes to convert and redirect electricity, releasing gases into the environment.

– Chemical products used in the soil: in agriculture it is not strange that chemical products, fertilizers, preservatives, among others, are used. These can rise into the atmosphere and cause harmful effects to the environment.

– Mining and extraction of materials: extraction generates large amounts of gases that pollute the environment.

effects

The WHO has reported that air quality is worst in regions of the Eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, followed by Africa.

Exposure to nitrogen dioxide can cause respiratory illnesses such as asthma, as well as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, according to the organization.

His alert is based on a database that includes measurements of the annual concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, which arises mainly from the burning of fuels by humans.

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