A study published in The Lancet Planetary Health states that only 0.18% of the Earth’s surface (equivalent to 0.001% of the world’s population) does not breathe polluted air. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers these levels of air pollution to be safe.
Yuming Guo, Professor at Monash University’s School of Public and Preventive Medicine in Melbourne, Australia, and his team of researchers conducted the world’s first institutional study of daily PM2.5 levels. They are tiny particles, their diameter does not exceed 2.5 micrometers. They are composed of a mixture of soot, metal, dust or chemicals, the origin of which is from the burning of fossils and other activities.
The conclusions of the study are frightening: only 0.001% of the population is not exposed to the harmful effects of these particles present in the air. In other words, almost the entire population of the world that inhabits the earth is threatened by the terrifying effects of air pollution agents.
What is air pollution and how does it affect people?
Air pollution, which is air pollution, consists of the presence of toxic substances in the air that change its quality, seriously affecting the environment and all the living things that inhabit it. It affects almost 100% of the world’s population. Nine out of ten people around the world breathe polluted air, which is responsible for the highest number of premature deaths on our planet every year.
Air pollution not only affects the place where it is generated, but also affects all regions of the earth. The main human causes are air pollution, which is related to fossil fuels. When we burn fossil fuels to generate energy, we release toxic gases into the atmosphere such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone (O3).
It is known as the “invisible killer” because it directly attacks our brain, heart and lungs without us even realizing it. Its poisonous particles, close to the size of a molecule, inflame the lungs, surpassing the poisons they contain in our bodies, causing millions of premature deaths every year.
The world’s first map of PM2.5
New research by Yuming Guo and his team of researchers shows us the first map of the world’s PM2.5. PM2.5 levels have increased in Latin America and the Caribbean, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, where more than 70% of days are above values that the World Health Organization (WHO) considers safe. In contrast, these daily levels have decreased in North America and Europe in the last 20 years (until 2019).
China, the Asian giant that generates the most emissions worldwide, has reduced its PM2.5 levels for the period 2015-2019. Despite this, if we compare it with the situation that exists in other countries, it continues to be affected by a lot of PM2.5 particle pollution.
Yuming Guo tells how things are about Spain;
Almost from the year 2000 to the year 2019, the annual average of PM2.5 in Spain continues to be above the guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization, although the air quality has improved during that time. concentrations of PM2.5.Yuming Guo
What are the causes and consequences of air pollution?
The main causes of air pollution are:
It is very dangerous in the environment, since it is the main element of acid rain. Ozone, which accumulates a lot in the atmosphere, generates the effect we call “smog”, which is a phenomenon that is produced by the formation of ozone in the lower layers of the atmosphere.
Emissions to the atmosphere
Emissions from cars and industries as well as human-generated emissions cause serious health and environmental problems.
Use of fossil fuels
It is one of the main causes of air pollution. The burning of fossil fuels emits an excess of harmful particles into the atmosphere, thus greenhouse gases (GHGs).
The main consequences of air pollution are:
Sources: Editor’s Environment, EL MUNDO, QUI, UN