Air pollution responsible for 1 in 8 deaths worldwide

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

India’s air pollution is the worst.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released an alarming report that air pollution caused about 7 million deaths in 2012. Polluted air can lead to heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke (a brain attack caused by bad blood flow).

Dr. Maria Neira, a director for WHO, said, “Few risks have greater impact on global health today than air pollution: the evidence signals the need for concerted action to clean up the air we breathe.”

Apparently, the worst rates of poor health due to air pollution are happening in Asia. See, while many of us take things like electricity and clean ovens for granted, 3 billion people in the world have to cook with open fires that are fueled by coal and wood.

In India, over 63% of the population uses these stoves! Unfortunately, this process creates really nasty pollution particles. Women and children are the most strongly affected, since they have to breathe in the smoke at home.

Regular outdoor pollution from cars and factories aren’t innocent in all this, either, as they’ve been linked strongly to heart disease and strokes.

So, be sure to recycle whenever you can, use public transportation instead of vehicles, and don’t go hiking if it’s a smoggy day according to your local news channel.

Featured image courtesy of Daniel Boyd on Flickr. Image of India’s air pollution courtesy of jenspie3 on Flickr.