92 Percent Of World Population Exposed To Air Pollution: What We Can Do To Decrease It

92 Percent Of World Population Exposed To Air Pollution: What Can We Do To Decrease It
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said in its report that 92 percent of the world's population is living under air pollution. Photo : Divine Progeny/YouTube

Air pollution is one of the challenges the world faces today. Perhaps nothing more exemplifies the issue about the environment more than air pollution. More and more people are living in urban areas. This results to more and more factors that contribute to air pollution such as vehicles, industrial areas and the like.

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that 92 percent of the world's population are living in areas that expose them to air pollution. According to Science Daily, as much as 3 million die every year due to factors related to air pollution. In 2012, outdoor and indoor air pollution accounted for as much as 6.5 million deaths worldwide.

The WHO report has come just weeks after a report by the World Bank has said that air pollution is costing the world trillions of dollars a year, as Humanosphere reported. The biggest sources of air pollution include inefficient modes of transport, household fuel and waste burning. Industries that add to air pollution are also noted.

With air pollution being a global concern, especially in urban areas, the search for possible solutions is being initiated in order to decrease it. A global campaign has been initiated by the WHO together with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and the government of Norway. This global campaign is called BreatheLife. It hopes to raise global awareness to the health risks of air pollution.

Key sectors have been targeted by the BreatheLife campaign. These key sectors include transport, energy and housing. In transport, for instance, the BreatheLife program is encouraging governments to invest networks for pedestrians and cyclists. This aim is to reduce dependence on motor transport as well as encourage healthy alternatives for travel.

Another key area in transport is to adopt cleaner vehicular and fuel technologies. This would mean lesser dependence on fossil fuels and searching for alternative fuel sources. The growing number of electric vehicles is one such means of using alternative sources of energy for vehicles. For housing, one of the strategies being looked into is more use for solar energy, especially for lighting.

Another way of improving the air inside the home is to use cleaner cooking stoves. This might mean reducing the reliance on stoves that use fire and encourage the use of electric stoves more. For cities, BreatheLife recommends better and healthy urban planning. Some areas in Asia and Latin America have approached this by using the North American model of having suburban residential areas far from crowded cities.

As our world becomes even more urban, the challenges to health and pollution also increase. Governments are encouraged to find ways to reduce pollution, especially air pollution. WHO, as well as other organizations, have taken steps in finding solutions for this, but it will take a concerted global effort before these solutions can be implemented.

Our environment is changing and one of its signs is the alarming condition of the Arctic Sea, as iTechPost noted in a previous report.

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