Air pollution shortens life by an average of 2.2 years

this contamination by fine particles In the air formed as a result of the combustion of fossil fuels, it shortens the lifespan. Scientists have determined it for more than two years on average worldwide. Atmospheric pollution is one of the leading causes of death on the planet today.

In South Asia, a person lives an average of five years longer. If the levels of fine particles meet World Health Organization standards, according to a report by the Energy Policy Institute of the University of Chicago, cited by the AFP agency.

In the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, home to 300 million, lung and heart diseases caused by PM2.5 particle pollution have shortened life expectancy by eight years and In ten years the capital is in New Delhi.

PM2.5 pollution (2.5 microns wide or less, about the diameter of a human hair) is mainly caused by the combustion of vehicle engines in road traffic and penetrates deep into the lungs and enters the bloodstream.

pollution in a big city JOHANNES EISELE

In 2013, the United Nations classified it as a carcinogenic agent. WHO states that the concentration of PM2.5 in the air should not exceed 15 micrograms per cubic meter in a 24-hour period or an average of 5 mcg/m3 over a year.

In the face of growing evidence of harmful effects on health, WHO tightened these standards last year in the first amendment since the creation of air quality guidance in 2005.

Clean air prolongs life

“Clean air pays off in additional life years For people around the world,” lead researcher Crista Hasenkopf and colleagues said in the Air Quality of Life Index report.

“Permanent reduction of global air pollution to meet WHO guidelines adds 2.2 years to average life expectancy“.

Almost every populated region in the world exceeds WHO guidelines, but nowhere more so than in Asia: 15 times in Bangladesh, 10 times in India, and nine times in Nepal and Pakistan.

Central and West Africa, along with most of Southeast Asia and parts of Central America, face pollution levels well above the global average and shorter lives.

5 pollution in 2020, the latest data available, remained largely unchanged from the previous year despite the sharp slowdown in the global economy and the corresponding decline in CO2 emissions due to the COVID lockdowns.

“In South Asia, pollution really increased in the first year of the pandemic,” the authors wrote.

Road traffic, main emitter of fine particles agencies

A country that has seen great developments is China.. PM2.5 pollution was reduced by almost 40% between 2013 and 2020 in this country of 1.4 billion people, adding two years to life expectancy.

But Despite this progress, life in China today is shortening by an average of 2.6 years. on whether the levels are recommended levels.

The most affected provinces are Henan and Hebei in north-central China, and the coastal Shandong province.

Compared to other causes of premature death, the impact of PM2.5 pollution is comparable to the impact of smoking, more than three times greater than alcohol consumption and six times greater than HIV/AIDS, according to the report.

Situation in Spain

in Spain, all Spanish autonomous communities cross the border Prevention of pollutant particles harmful to the heart recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to the Spanish Society of Cardiology (SEC) and the Spanish Heart Foundation (FEC).

In this context, the SEC and FEC analyzed the average annual concentration of these particles in all Spanish autonomous communities over the past decade. all regions except Canary Islands, Murcia and La RiojaThey managed to lower the average annual PM2.5 concentration between 2010 and 2020. However, the downward revision of the annual concentration limit value recommended by WHO (up to 5 micrograms/m3) means: all communities pass it.

As for PM10, the average annual concentration of these particles increased only in the Canary Islands and Galicia, but only in Extremadura, Navarre and Aragon In the case of PM10 they are below the WHO recommended limit of 15 micrograms/m3.


Environment department contact

Source: Informacion


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