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News Article

Poor Air Quality Causes 9 million Annual Deaths: The Lancet

By Rodrigo Andrade | Fri, 05/20/2022 - 15:59

Poor air quality represents a critical health issue for everyone, but its impact is stronger among those with serious health conditions. A study by The Lancet Commission on pollution and health, found that air pollution has grown over the last two decades by at least 66 percent and is responsible for at least 9 million annual deaths. Critical attention is needed to contain pollution in major cities and help fight this growing problem.

The six chemicals mainly responsible for air pollution are carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxides, ozone, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Industry development, urban city planning and gentrification are the most important factors leading to an increase in air pollution. This phenomenon directly affects health all over the world.

Other international organizations had already raised the alarm about air pollution, with the World Health Organization (WHO) stating that about 4.2 million people die each year prematurely due to bad air quality and air pollution, as reported by MBN.

Mexico is the 51th most polluted country in the world, according to IQAir, with a concentration of airborne particles (PM 2.5) that exceeds the recommended limit established by WHO. Mexico City is now the 917thmost contaminated city in the world, a significant change from a couple of decades ago, when its Metropolitan Area of Mexico City was considered to be one of the most polluted in the world, according to the Earth Organization. 

Considering the impact of air pollution, the WHO is asking world’s governments to strengthen monitoring activities and give their population guidelines to protect themselves. However, this is also a socioeconomic issue because 90 percent of pollution-related deaths happen in low-income and middle-income countries, which are not taking strong actions to fight this public health problem. Another concern is that many of these countries rely on production and manufacturing industries for a large part of their GDP.

Rodrigo Andrade Rodrigo Andrade Junior Journalist & Industry Analyst