Air Pollution Increasingly Deadly, Scientists Warn in Unicef Report

    Eight million people, including 700,000 children under five, died in 2021 from pollution-related health problems

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    Air pollution, both indoor and outdoor, kills many people around the world, including children, and is already more deadly than smoking, according to a report released Thursday under the auspices of Unicef.

    More than eight million people, including 700,000 children under the age of five, died in 2021 from pollution-related health problems, according to this work by scientists at the US-based Health Effects Institute.

    These results are based on the Global Burden Disease, a gigantic database that compiles information from more than 200 countries.However, it has not been the subject of a publication in a scientific journal.

    Serious illnesses

    According to the level of mortality reported by researchers, exposure to air pollution would now represent a higher threat than smoking or poor diet.In most cases, air pollution-related deaths are associated with the inhalation of fine particles called PM2.5, less than 2.5 microns in diameter.

    These particles are known to favor numerous pathologies: lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes. The authors of the report highlight the increasingly lethal role of ozone pollution, fueled by episodes related to global warming.

    “We see more and more regions of the world exposed to very brief and intense episodes of air pollution,” stressed to AFP researcher Pallavi Pant, a member of the Health Effects Institute, mentioning forest fires or strong heat waves.The use of fuels in cooking (charcoal, wood, etc.) is the main cause of infant mortality, especially in Asia and Africa.

    Efforts underway

    Efforts have already been made to facilitate access to less hazardous cooking techniques, which has largely contributed to air-related child mortality dropping by more than half since 2000, according to the report.”We know we could solve these kinds of problems,” Pant insisted.

    Resonance Costa Rica
    At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel
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