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WHO: Air Pollution Killed 7 Million in 2012

Posted on March 27, 2014
by Wendy Stackhouse

Air Pollution in Sarajevo

The big air quality story of the week is a new report from the World Health Organization about deaths from air pollution around the globe.

7 million deaths. That’s one in eight. 1 in 8.

Air pollution has been proven to contribute to:

Heart Disease

Respiratory Disease

Cancer

Stroke

2.6 million of those deaths resulted from outdoor air pollution and…

3.3 million deaths resulted from indoor air pollution.

Dr Maria Neira of the WHO said: “The risks from air pollution are now far greater than previously thought or understood, particularly for heart disease and strokes.”

According to the BBC:

“For deaths related to indoor pollution, [the WHO] found:

34% – stroke

26% – heart disease

22% – COPD

12% – acute lower respiratory infections in children

6% – lung cancer”

Many of these deaths were related to indoor cooking over wood stoves, coal stoves and open fires where smoke, soot and particulate pollution are particularly bad, affecting mostly poor women and children.

Most of us here in the US don’t use wood or coal stoves for cooking, but that does not mean that we do not suffer health effects from air pollution, indoor and outdoor. Car and truck exhaust as well as factory pollution affects our environment every day. And the chemicals in our homes from furniture, carpeting, paint, household cleaners, air fresheners and even scented candles are damaging the air we breathe at home as well.

At AirTek, we try to offer good advice about reducing indoor air pollution and cleaning up the air pollution we already live with by:

Bringing in houseplants which clean chemicals like formaldehyde out of the air

Keeping your ventilation system clean and well-maintained

Reducing volatile organic compounds in your environment by choosing greener products for cleaning and decorating

We hope you take the dangers of indoor and outdoor air pollution seriously. It is truly a life-and-death issue–for all of us.

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