Friday, May 27, 2022
Photo: pinterest.com / WHO
Photo: pinterest.com / WHO

According to representatives of the World Health Organization, 99 percent of the world's population breathe air that does not meet current safety guidelines.

It might seem that the problem of air pollution does not concern the developed countries of Europe and occurs mainly in poorer, still developing regions. The reality, however, turns out to be quite different. This is confirmed by studies conducted in over 6,000 cities in 117 countries. The research was conducted in over 6,000 cities in 117 countries. One of the biggest culprits in this case is nitrogen dioxide, or NO2. This compound, when in contact with the human body, irritates the eyes and the tissues that make up the lungs, for example. As a result, the risk of inflammation, decreased lung function or allergy or asthma increases. In the case of newborns, however, an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and body weight deficiency was found.

Nitrogen dioxide, of course, is not the only factor that hinders our functioning. Among others, you can first of all mention the so-called PM 2.5, which is a particulate matter not exceeding 2.5 micrometers in diameter. As explained by the WHO, particulate matter, especially PM2.5, is able to penetrate deep into the lungs and into the bloodstream, causing cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and respiratory disorders. It turns out that while developing countries, such as India and China, have the highest values ​​for PM10 and PM2.5, respectively, the difference in nitrogen dioxide is not that marked. In other words, the problem with NO2 is much more global in nature. Only 23 percent of the city dwellers covered by the measurements have access to air with nitrogen dioxide content in line with WHO guidelines. The highest concentrations of this compound were recorded in the Mediterranean basin.

Even developed countries are struggling with high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide

A kind of light in the tunnel is the improvement in air quality recorded last year in China. On the other hand, a report from IQAir released last month showed that no country met WHO's air quality guidelines for particulate matter 2.5 in 2021. It is downright striking news when we realize that there is no country in the world where air quality conditions are adequate.

The matter is very serious. The WHO estimates that PM2.5 pollution contributed to some 4.2 million premature deaths in 2016. One of the elements particularly responsible for the emissions of such pollutants are fossil fuels. This is another argument for striving to use alternative energy sources - for example in the form of wind farms, solar farms or nuclear power plants.

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Photo: pinterest.com / WHO
Photo: pinterest.com / WHO

According to representatives of the World Health Organization, 99 percent of the world's population breathe air that does not meet current safety guidelines.

It might seem that the problem of air pollution does not concern the developed countries of Europe and occurs mainly in poorer, still developing regions. The reality, however, turns out to be quite different. This is confirmed by studies conducted in over 6,000 cities in 117 countries. The research was conducted in over 6,000 cities in 117 countries. One of the biggest culprits in this case is nitrogen dioxide, or NO2. This compound, when in contact with the human body, irritates the eyes and the tissues that make up the lungs, for example. As a result, the risk of inflammation, decreased lung function or allergy or asthma increases. In the case of newborns, however, an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and body weight deficiency was found.

Nitrogen dioxide, of course, is not the only factor that hinders our functioning. Among others, you can first of all mention the so-called PM 2.5, which is a particulate matter not exceeding 2.5 micrometers in diameter. As explained by the WHO, particulate matter, especially PM2.5, is able to penetrate deep into the lungs and into the bloodstream, causing cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and respiratory disorders. It turns out that while developing countries, such as India and China, have the highest values ​​for PM10 and PM2.5, respectively, the difference in nitrogen dioxide is not that marked. In other words, the problem with NO2 is much more global in nature. Only 23 percent of the city dwellers covered by the measurements have access to air with nitrogen dioxide content in line with WHO guidelines. The highest concentrations of this compound were recorded in the Mediterranean basin.

Even developed countries are struggling with high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide

A kind of light in the tunnel is the improvement in air quality recorded last year in China. On the other hand, a report from IQAir released last month showed that no country met WHO's air quality guidelines for particulate matter 2.5 in 2021. It is downright striking news when we realize that there is no country in the world where air quality conditions are adequate.

The matter is very serious. The WHO estimates that PM2.5 pollution contributed to some 4.2 million premature deaths in 2016. One of the elements particularly responsible for the emissions of such pollutants are fossil fuels. This is another argument for striving to use alternative energy sources - for example in the form of wind farms, solar farms or nuclear power plants.