It has been estimated that pollution decimates a total of 5.5 million individuals annually on a global level.
The smoke and fog that engulfs so many metropolitan areas around the world is not just a nuisance. It is a sort of slow poisoning that could eventually kill people.
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Millions of individuals fall prey to this smog on a daily basis and develop all sorts of diseases. Many of them eventually keel over and die. At least 3 million people died due to low air quality. In fact, the number adds up to 5.5 deaths per year which is a lot of people.
Data from 188 countries was examined as part of the Global Burden of Disease Project. The air pollution levels from the early 90s to 2013 were measured and tallied.
Although overall air pollution has decreased over the past two decades, the emission of greenhouse gases has increased to the point where the environment had become dangerous.
Due to high population growth and rapid urban planning, especially in areas such as China and South Asia, the levels of pollution have multiplied as well leading to a health hazard in the making.
The study is unique in that not only outdoor pollution is recorded but indoor air quality is also taken into consideration. Even in the western world, there are millions of people who put logs or coals in the fireplace during winter and they are susceptible to the deleterious effects of the ensuing smoke.
Breathing in this smoke causes some pretty bad lung and CV diseases. China and India are the countries that are hardest hit by this avalanche of pollution. Although it is a worldwide problem, the Far East and South Asia seem to bear the brunt of the burden.
After the Paris Climate Talks, both China and India have pledged to reduce the use of coal by a significant percentage. Also vehicular exhaust fumes are to be curtailed, according to BBC.
The effects of these steps would be dramatic to say the least. Air pollution would be reduced beyond a shadow of doubt. Air pollution remains the fourth biggest cause of death on a worldwide level.
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By cleaning up the air, humanity would be doing itself a huge favor. And the environment along with its flora and fauna would also heave a sigh of relief in the process.