According to a recent study conducted by the World Health Organization, major cities across the globe are grappling with high levels of air pollution, which is posing serious health risks to people living in these areas. The study analyzed air quality data from more than 4,300 cities in 108 countries and found that over 90% of the world’s population is exposed to unhealthy air. The study revealed that air pollution is a major public health issue and has contributed to over 7 million premature deaths globally. This is an alarming figure that demands immediate action from policymakers and the public.
The study identified PM2.5 – fine particulate matter that is linked to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases – as a major culprit behind air pollution. The recommended levels of PM2.5 by the WHO are 10 micrograms per cubic meter, but the study found that several cities across the globe exceeded this limit. In India, for instance, the city of Delhi had a PM2.5 level of 153 micrograms per cubic meter, which is 15 times higher than the recommended limit. In addition, several cities in China, South Asia, and the Middle East also had hazardous levels of air pollution.
The study has sparked concern among public health officials and environmentalists, who are calling for immediate action to address this health crisis. They are urging governments to adopt comprehensive policies that prioritize air quality and reduce harmful emissions from industries, vehicles, and other sources. They are also calling on people to take individual action to reduce their exposure to air pollution, such as using public transport, walking, cycling, and reducing energy consumption. This is not just an environmental issue, but a public health emergency that requires urgent attention and action.