The World Health Organization set Wednesday, September 22 more restrictive limits for the main air pollutants, including airborne particles, which cause seven million premature deaths each year, especially in poor countries.
This is the first time that the WHO has updated its global air quality guidelines since 2005. The amount of data showing that air pollution affects different aspects of health has increased significantly since that time. dated.
This is why the WHO has lowered almost all of its reference thresholds, which mainly relate to so-called classic pollutants: suspended particles, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and monoxide. of carbon.
The new guidelines are not legally binding standards, but they provide a framework for countries to better protect their populations.
Read alsoReducing air pollution would prevent 50,000 deaths per year in Europe
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged "
all countries and all those struggling to protect our environment to use them to reduce suffering and save lives
Because no less than seven million premature deaths, mainly due to non-communicable diseases, are attributable to the joint effects of ambient air pollution and indoor air pollution, according to the WHO.
Air pollution, one of the main environmental threats
Air pollution is a threat to health in all countries, but it mostly hits people in low- and middle-income countries
,” Dr Tedros stressed, as disadvantaged countries face increasing levels. air pollution, boosted by large-scale urbanization and economic development that relies primarily on the use of fossil fuels.
What is the impact of air pollution on our health?
For Dr Hans Henri Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, “
clean air should be a fundamental human right and a necessary condition for the health and productivity of societies
However, although air quality has improved somewhat over the past three decades, millions of people continue to die prematurely, often in the most vulnerable and marginalized populations,
" he noted in the press release.
Along with climate change, air pollution is, according to the WHO, one of the main environmental threats to health.