Wake-up Call To Air Pollution | Death Rate Statistics | Lifestyle Loss
Updated: Oct 22, 2021
As we all know that air pollution is a type of environmental pollution that affects the air usually caused by smoke or other harmful gases, mainly oxides of carbon, sulphur and nitrogen. It damages the natural or built environment. Also we are aware of the fact that it causes diseases, allergies and even death to humans, harm to other living organisms such as animals and food crops. Both human activity and natural processes can generate air pollution. Most air pollution made by humans today is because of transportation. Automobiles , for instance, make about 60% of the human-made air pollution. The gases inside car exhaust, like nitrogen oxide, make smog and acid rain.
Many of the world's large cities today have polluted air or low air quality. Even 2,000 years ago, the Romans were complaining about the polluted air in their cities. At that time, the air was thick with smoke from fires and the smell of sewers. Air pollution has been classified as a danger to human health and Earth's many ecosystems for a long time.
Indoor air pollution and poor urban air quality are listed as two of the world's worst toxic pollution problems in the 2008 Blacksmith Institute World's Worst Polluted Places report. Outdoor air pollution alone causes 2.1 to 4.21 million premature deaths annually. The World Health Organization estimated in 2014 that every year air pollution causes the premature death of some 7 million people worldwide. Studies published in March 2019 indicated that the number may be around 8.8 million.
India has the highest death rate due to air pollution and also has more deaths from asthma than any other nation according to the World Health Organization. In India in 2014, it was reported that air pollution by black carbon and ground level ozone had reduced crop yields in the most affected areas by almost half in 2011 when compared to 1980 levels. In December 2013 air pollution was estimated to kill 500,000 people in China each year. There is a positive correlation between pneumonia-related deaths and air pollution from motor vehicle emissions.
Urban outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause 1.3 million deaths worldwide per year. Children are particularly at risk due to the immaturity of their respiratory organ systems. A new economic study of the health impacts and associated costs of air pollution in the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley of Southern California shows that more than 3,800 people die prematurely (approximately 14 years earlier than normal) each year because air pollution levels violate federal standards. The number of annual premature deaths is considerably higher than the fatalities related to auto collisions in the same area, which average fewer than 2,000 per year.
Air pollution is also emerging as a risk factor for stroke, particularly in developing countries where pollutant levels are highest. A review of evidence regarding whether ambient air pollution exposure is a risk factor for cancer in 2007 found solid data to conclude that long-term exposure to PM2.5 (fine particulates) increases the overall risk of non-accidental mortality by 6% per a 10 microg/m3 increase. Exposure to PM2.5 was also associated with an increased risk of mortality from lung cancer (range: 15% to 21% per 10 microg/m3 increase) and total cardiovascular mortality (range: 12% to 14% per a 10 microg/m3 increase). The review further noted that living close to busy traffic appears to be associated with elevated risks of these three outcomes – increase in lung cancer deaths, cardiovascular deaths, and overall non-accidental deaths.
Air pollution costs the world economy $5 trillion per year as a result of productivity losses and degraded quality of life, according to a joint study by the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. These productivity losses are caused by deaths due to diseases caused by air pollution. One out of ten deaths in 2013 was caused by diseases associated with air pollution and the problem is getting worse. The problem is even more acute in the developing world.
Life Loss Still Continuing......