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Polluted air could be fatal

ACCORDING TO the World Health Organisation (WHO), as many as nine out of 10 people globally live in places with poor air quality.

The WHO is blaming a worldwide air pollution crisis for being a major factor in millions of deaths per year.

According to the organisation, as high as 92% of people live in areas where air quality exceeds WHO limits.

In its report which was compiled based on data from 3,000 sites across the world, the WHO said “some three million deaths a year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution can be just as deadly. In 2012, an estimated 6.5 million deaths (11.6% of all global deaths) were associated with indoor and outdoor air pollution together.”

The report further worryingly revealed that almost all of the air pollution-related deaths are due to non-communicable diseases such cardiovascular illnesses, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.

“Air pollution continues to take a toll on the health of the most vulnerable populations – women, children and the older adults.” Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director General of WHO told global news channel, Aljazeera.

Proffering some solutions, Maria Neira, head of the WHO’s department of health and environment said “solutions exist with sustainable transport in cities, solid waste management, access to clean household fuels and cook-stoves, as well as renewable energies and industrial emissions reductions.”

In the case of Ghana, it is common knowledge that urban air pollution is on the rise due to increased population and brisk commercial activities.

This is also compounded by the import of polluted fuel from some parts of the world, particularly the United Kingdom. This polluted fuel is used widely across the country and emits poisonous gas into the atmosphere, but the authorities are watching unconcerned.

We should not forget that everybody, irrespective of class, breaths in the same Oxygen and breaths out Carbon Dioxide. Cardiovascular diseases are no respecter of persons.

The DAILY HERITAGE, therefore, calls for concerted efforts by the supervising authorities and individuals to combat the increasing rate of air pollution.

Source: www.dailyheritage.com.gh/Muftaw Mohammed

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