air pollution
by Natalia Galbetti
Categories: Causes, Environment, Science.

If the risk air pollution poses to the planet hasn’t sparked major change, maybe the newly released numbers on the dangers it poses to humans will.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that in 2012, over seven million people died because of air pollution, making it the eighth leading cause of death.

“Risks from air pollution are far greater than previously thought, particularly in terms of heart disease and strokes,” explained Dr Maria Neira, director of WHO’s department of public health, environmental and social determinants of health. “Few risks have a greater impact on global health today than air pollution. The evidence signals the need for concerted action to clean up the air we breathe.”

Out of those seven million, 5.9 million deaths took place in India and other countries in Southeast Asia and the Western pacific. In those areas, crop waste, coal and charcoal are used to cook food in open fires and when done indoors, that can lead to high levels of smoke that penetrate the lungs.

The main direct causes of death resulting from air pollution were pneumonia in children, stroke, lung cancer, ischaemic heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

“Unless we in India respond immediately to this major public health challenge, we stand the risk of condemning three generations to the ill health and untimely death because of air pollution,” said Dr K S Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India. “It will not suffice to say that pollution is a side-effect of development.”

 Via Financial Express

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

 

  • JR Johnson

    How can we get cleaner energy? We must use nuclear power, hydroelectric dams, geothermal and in some cases use renewables. We must reduce our use of natural gas and coal and save these fossil fuels. Germany is building many coal plants to replace their nuclear powerplants and importing gas. Germany will be getting dirtier air from their coal plants. Windmills and solar panels, are sold as ‘green’, but they need more land, use more materials, generate less energy-both the wind and sun are intermittent. Windmills have killed endangered birds and bats. People who live near windmills have higher incidence of hearing loss, migraines, nausea, etc. Solar panels have dangerous chemicals some of which are carcinogenic. Yes, we must also use windmills and solar panels when possible, but let’s end the idea that windmills and solar panels are ‘green’. Windmills and solar (renewable energies) are based on how much sun and wind you get and when renewables don’t give enough, then coal as Germany does is used.

    The main thing here is that we must save fossil fuels such as limiting natural gas to fuel cars and reduce coal usage. That’s why we must use nuclear/atomic power, geothermal and hydroelectric dams (when possible) combined. Nuclear/atomic energy has advanced greatly-they already use less Uranium which lasts longer & more energy. Thorium needs to be perfect. Physicist Kirk F. Sorensen is working to perfect the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor. It must be said that people like me who support nuclear/atomic power also support geothermal, hydro-electric dams, etc. If a place can get 100% of it’s energy from hydroelectric dams as some places in Canada do, then those places uses hydro-electric & the need for nuclear is not there. If a place can get 100% of it’s energy from geothermal as Iceland does, then again, the need for nuclear/atomic energy is not there. Please know that those of us who support nuclear energy also support hydro-electric dams, geothermal, etc. We must use atomic/nuclear energy as well and know that there I am an environmentalist who supports nuclear energy.