Every year 4.2 million premature deaths are caused by air pollution, according to the World Health Organization.
It is the fourth leading risk factor for premature deaths worldwide as well as the deadliest form of pollution, according to The World Bank. In 2013, the worldwide health costs associated with air pollution were over $5 trillion as well as $225 billion in lost labor income.
“Air pollution is a challenge that threatens basic human welfare, damages natural and physical capital, and constrains economic growth,” said Laura Tuck, Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank.
92 percent of people on the planet breathe air that exceeds safe limits, according to WHO.
Indoor air pollution takes a particularly heavy toll on women and young children, as they are most likely to stay indoors for longer periods of time, where they are exposed to the fumes from cooking and heating, according to the United Nations.
In less developed countries, 98% of children under five breathe toxic air as well as killing 600,000 children under the age of 15 every year.
“This report and the burden of disease associated with air pollution are an urgent call to action,” said Dr. Chris Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
The United Nations Environment Programme partnered with organizations to create a real-time interactive air quality platform, that you can check out below:
The interactive air quality platform was launched at the tenth session of the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, in February 2020.
Organized and convened by UN-Habitat, the World Urban Forum is an international gathering to discus sustainable urbanization.
The platform currently receives real-time data from more than 4,000 providers and has a following of more than 15 million users. It allows individuals to collect data to create a greater public awareness of air quality.
“Providing real-time data in a simple-to-understand format at this scale is an important step UNEP is taking to fill the data gap,” says Sean Khan, a UNEP expert on air and global environment monitoring systems.
Individuals and government institutions can use measurements to track local pollution levels and receive customized health recommendations.