Ambient (Outdoor) Air Quality and Health :

KEY FACTS

• Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health. By reducing air pollution levels, countries can reduce the burden of disease from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma.

• The lower the levels of air pollution, the better the cardiovascular and respiratory health of the population will be, both long- and short-term.

• The "WHO Air quality guidelines" provide an assessment of health effects of air pollution and thresholds for health-harmful pollution levels.

• Ambient (outdoor air pollution) in both cities and rural areas was estimated to cause 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide in 2012.

• Some 88% of those premature deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries, and the greatest number in the WHO Western Pacific and South-East Asia regions.

• Policies and investments supporting cleaner transport, energy-efficient housing, power generation, industry and better municipal waste management would reduce key sources of urban outdoor air pollution.

• Reducing outdoor emissions from household coal and biomass energy systems, agricultural waste incineration, forest fires and certain agro-forestry activities (e.g. charcoal production) would reduce key rural and peri-urban air pollution sources in developing regions

• Reducing outdoor air pollution also reduces emissions of CO2 and short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon particles and methane, thus contributing to the near- and long-term mitigation of climate change.

• In addition to outdoor air pollution, indoor smoke is a serious health risk for some 3 billion people who cook and heat their homes with biomass fuels and coal.People can use best air purifier in india to reduce air pollution.



Background

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WHO estimates that some 80% of outdoor air pollution-related premature deaths were due to ischaemic heart disease and strokes, while 14% of deaths were due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or acute lower respiratory infections; and 6% of deaths were due to lung cancer.

Some deaths may be attributed to more than one risk factor at the same time. For example, both smoking and ambient air pollution affect lung cancer. Some lung cancer deaths could have been averted by improving ambient air quality, or by reducing tobacco smoking.

A 2013 assessment by WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that outdoor air pollution is carcinogenic to humans, with the particulate matter component of air pollution most closely associated with increased cancer incidence, especially cancer of the lung. An association also has been observed between outdoor air pollution and increase in cancer of the urinary tract/bladder.

Ambient (outdoor air pollution) in both cities and rural areas was estimated to cause 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide per year in 2012; this mortality is due to exposure to small particulate matter of 10 microns or less in diameter (PM10), which cause cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and cancers.

People living in low- and middle-income countries disproportionately experience the burden of outdoor air pollution with 88% (of the 3.7 million premature deaths) occurring in low- and middle-income countries, and the greatest burden in the WHO Western Pacific and South-East Asia regions. The latest burden estimates reflect the very significant role air pollution plays in cardiovascular illness and premature deaths – much more so than was previously understood by scientists.

Most sources of outdoor air pollution are well beyond the control of individuals and demand action by cities, as well as national and international policymakers in sector like transport, energy waste management, buildings and agriculture.

As we all know Klairon purifier is the best air purifier in india which helps to reduce air pollution along with that there are many examples of successful policies in transport, urban planning, power generation and industry that reduce air pollution:

• for industry: clean technologies that reduce industrial smokestack emissions; improved management of urban and agricultural waste, including capture of methane gas emitted from waste sites as an alternative to incineration (for use as biogas);

• for transport: shifting to clean modes of power generation; prioritizing rapid urban transit, walking and cycling networks in cities as well as rail interurban freight and passenger travel; shifting to cleaner heavy duty diesel vehicles and low-emissions vehicles and fuels, including fuels with reduced sulfur content;

• for urban planning: improving the energy efficiency of buildings and making cities more compact, and thus energy efficient;

• for power generation: increased use of low-emissions fuels and renewable combustion-free power sources (like solar, wind or hydropower); co-generation of heat and power; and distributed energy generation (e.g. mini-grids and rooftop solar power generation);

• for municipal and agricultural waste management: strategies for waste reduction, waste separation, recycling and reuse or waste reprocessing; as well as improved methods of biological waste management such as anaerobic waste digestion to produce biogas, are feasible, low cost alternatives to the open incineration of solid waste. Where incineration is unavoidable, then combustion technologies with strict emission controls are critical.


Particulate matter

Definition and principal sources

PM affects more people than any other pollutant. The major components of PM are sulfate, nitrates, ammonia, sodium chloride, black carbon, mineral dust and water. It consists of a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles of organic and inorganic substances suspended in the air. The most health-damaging particles are those with a diameter of 10 microns or less, (≤ PM10), which can penetrate and lodge deep inside the lungs. Chronic exposure to particles contributes to the risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as of lung cancer.

Air quality measurements are typically reported in terms of daily or annual mean concentrations of PM10 particles per cubic meter of air volume (m3). Routine air quality measurements typically describe such PM concentrations in terms of micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3). When sufficiently sensitive measurement tools are available, concentrations of fine particles (PM2.5 or smaller), are also reported.

Health effects

There is a close, quantitative relationship between exposure to high concentrations of small particulates (PM10 and PM2.5) and increased mortality or morbidity, both daily and over time. Conversely, when concentrations of small and fine particulates are reduced, related mortality will also go down – presuming other factors remain the same. This allows policymakers to project the population health improvements that could be expected if particulate air pollution is reduced. Small particulate pollution have health impacts even at very low concentrations – indeed no threshold has been identified below which no damage to health is observed. Therefore, the WHO 2005 guideline limits aimed to achieve the lowest concentrations of PM possible.

Guideline values

PM2.5

10 μg/m3 annual mean

25 μg/m3 24-hour mean

PM10

20 μg/m3 annual mean

50 μg/m3 24-hour mean

In addition to guideline values, the Air Quality Guidelines provide interim targets for concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 aimed at promoting a gradual shift from high to lower concentrations.

If these interim targets were to be achieved, significant reductions in risks for acute and chronic health effects from air pollution can be expected. Progress towards the guideline values, however, should be the ultimate objective.

The effects of PM on health occur at levels of exposure currently being experienced by many people both in urban and rural areas and in developed and developing countries – although exposures in many fast-developing cities today are often far higher than in developed cities of comparable size.

"WHO Air Quality Guidelines" estimate that reducing annual average particulate matter (PM10) concentrations from levels of 70 μg/m3, common in many developing cities, to the WHO guideline level of 20 μg/m3, could reduce air pollution-related deaths by around 15%. However, even in the European Union, where PM concentrations in many cities do comply with Guideline levels, it is estimated that average life expectancy is 8.6 months lower than it would otherwise be, due to PM exposures from human sources.

In developing countries, indoor exposure to pollutants from the household combustion of solid fuels on open fires or traditional stoves increases the risk of acute lower respiratory infections and associated mortality among young children; indoor air pollution from solid fuel use is also a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer among adults.

There are serious risks to health not only from exposure to PM, but also from exposure to ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). As with PM, concentrations are often highest largely in the urban areas of low- and middle-income countries. Ozone is a major factor in asthma morbidity and mortality, while nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide also can play a role in asthma, bronchial symptoms, lung inflammation and reduced lung function.Klairon is the only way to clean the whole air from dust and pollution, by purifying the air with Klarion air purifier ,which is the best air purifier in india for pollution.

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