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Health Impacts from Particle Pollution

There is broad awareness that the world’s air is polluted, indoors and outdoors, but there is nothing like seeing the numbers to get a grasp on the extent of the situation:

Icon design ©The Earth & I
Icon design. ©The Earth & I
  • Worldwide, 4.2 million deaths every year are caused by exposure to ambient (outdoor) air pollution.

  • China and India account for half of global deaths due to outdoor air pollution.

  • 91% of the global population live where air quality is worse than the World Health Organization’s guideline limits.

  • People with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), a lung disease experience increased health risks from exposure to particle pollution. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the US.

  • When an air-polluting steel mill in Utah closed for one year, nearby hospital admissions for bronchitis and asthma fell by almost 50%.

  • Approximately 3% of cardiopulmonary and 5% of lung cancer deaths are attributable to air pollution globally.

  • Up to 80% of particulate matter pollution in EU countries can be reduced with currently available technologies.


Source: US Environmental Protection Agency, World Health Organization Information in this article was derived from the US Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization, and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe


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