Don’t breathe: outdoor pollution kills 3.3 million people a year.

To go with Climate-warming-UN-COP21-India,FOCUS by Trudy Harris In this November 13, 2015 photo, Indian migrant workers walk toward the entrance of a newly constructed but not completely finished luxury high rise residential tower block in Noida where they work as day labourers. India's capital, with 18 million residents, has the world's most polluted air with six times the amount of small particulate matter (pm2.5) than what is considered safe, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The air's hazardous amount of pm2.5 can reach deep into the lungs and enter the blood, causing serious long term health effect, with the WHO warning India has the world's highest death rate from chronic respiratory diseases. India, home to 13 of the world's top 20 polluted cities, is also the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases behind the United States and China. In Delhi, the air pollution is due to vehicle traffic including cargo trucks running on low-grade diesel, individual fires that residents burn in winter, crop being burnt by farmers in neighboring states, and construction site dust. Burning coal in power plants is also major contributor that is expected to increase hugely in the coming decades to match electricity needs of the ever-growing city and its booming satellite towns. AFP PHOTO / ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

Don’t breathe: outdoor pollution kills 3.3 million people a year.

More people die prematurely from breathing air, while 2.8 million people die each year from HIV/AIDS and malaria.

That’s the surprising statistic of a new study in nature this week. The global death toll from outdoor air pollution is 3.3 million. (premature death is a medical term that means usually preventable deaths occur before expectations – for example, life expectancy at the age of 78 in the United States).

If the world continues to operate as usual – namely agriculture, transport, industrial and residential cooking and heating – the figure is expected to double by 2050.

Air pollution is killed in various ways. According to the study’s lead author, Germany Max at the Max Planck institute for chemistry in mainz Johannes Lelieveld Cyprus and the Cyprus institute, Dr Cardiovascular disease causes about 75% of premature deaths. In these cases, pollution can have an inflammatory effect on the cardiovascular system, leading to strokes and heart attacks. Respiratory diseases and lung cancer cause another 25 percent of premature deaths. The vast majority of early deaths occur in adults over 30, although in developing countries, almost 250,000 children under the age of five die from outdoor air pollution due to respiratory illness.

Last year, the world health organization estimated that seven million people died prematurely from pollution. But the new study did not conflict, Lelieveld said, because the world health organization’s data included indoor and outdoor pollution. The new study only focused on the effects of outdoor air pollution, and further to determine the causes of pollution: residential energy, agriculture, natural (e.g., sand desert land), power generation, industrial and traffic land.

So far, the main cause of outdoor air pollution has been residential cooking and heating – the particles emanating from the original stoves and heaters emit homes and enter the air. This is a major problem in China and India, for example, many people cook and heat their food with dirty fuels like wood and cow dung.

“Some governments are trying to bring in more efficient stoves,” Lelieveld said. “But traditionally, you can’t ask people to stop eating and cooking and have better technology, but it’s not a very high level of acceptance, and it takes effort.”

In developed countries, vehicle traffic and industry are the leading cause of premature death. But the unexpected finding is that the biggest causes of pollution are agricultural emissions from the eastern United States, Europe, Russia and east Asia – fertilizer, fertilizer and animal waste disposal.

“Surprisingly, it’s a major contributor to air pollution,” Lelieveld said. The reason is that the agricultural pollutants are combined with traffic pollutants from the city, he said, and the wind travels back and forth. The proximity of the population density and the rural and urban areas of the eastern United States shows that agriculture contributes relatively little to premature death in the region.

More research is needed in some areas – this is the information in the accompanying comments. For example, in traffic situations, the Numbers may be underestimated. As far as agriculture is concerned, they may be overrated, but still valuable because agriculture has never been considered a major source of air pollution and premature death.

“… I think scientists and policymakers need to pay more attention to agricultural sources, “wrote Dr. Michael Jerrett of the university of California, Los Angeles, department of environmental science.

Jerrett wrote, traffic pollution accounts for the United States, Germany and the UK 20% of premature deaths, but only about 5% in the world – this is a great discovery, because the vehicle emissions in the west there is still a problem, even after the broad rules came into force, and because of car traffic is likely to increase in developing countries.

In the next 35 years, these Numbers will be hard to avoid, as a large part of the problem comes from individuals, small sources – home heaters and stoves. But targeting the right goals is important. “If you target the wrong category, you will lose motivation to do something about it,” Lelieveld said. , though he admits to not practice agriculture, he said he could imagine, is there any way to can handle the produce less pollution animal waste, and prevent excessive fertilization may help prevent these emissions.


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