The World Health Organization (WHO) has lowered the recommended limits for six air pollutants. The WHO guideline values are more stringent than those of the European Union. According to the organization, studies have shown that bad air harms humans more than was long believed. These include particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
According to estimates by the World Health Organization, seven million people worldwide die prematurely each year as a result of air pollution. If countries adhere to the new threshold values, millions of lives could be saved. Air pollution causes cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Along with climate change, this is one of the most important threats to health.
The guidelines relate to particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide.
The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, says air pollution affects all countries, but poor countries are the worst victims.
In 2019, more than 90 percent of the world’s population lived in areas where particulate concentrations exceeded the limits set by the World Health Organization some 15 years ago. However, nearly 80 percent of related deaths could be avoided if pollution were reduced to the new guidelines’ thresholds.
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