A new report coming from the International Energy Agency shows that the Chinese air pollution can cost its inhabitants more than two years of their lives.
Air Pollution Levels in China
The energy sector is the main responsible for the health threat. The heavy air pollution is said to cut 25 months in a person’s life. Scientists predict that the air pollution in the area is linked to one million deaths each year.
An astonishing 97% of the Chinese population is exposed to toxic concentrations of particulate matter, including ammonia, mineral dust, black carbon, sulfates, nitrates, or sodium chloride. The most dangerous particles are the ones that have a diameter of less than 10 microns.
The organization points out that air pollution can also be found at home. The sources are the use of substandard fossil fuels and burning organic matter during cooking. In China, household pollution kills 1.2 million each year.
The report says that if air pollution is limited, by 2040, the Chinese life expectancy could increase by at least 15 months.
The Chinese officials that implement the climate change strategy say that the policymakers should make sure that the money from the government is correctly used to clean up the air.
A Worldwide Death Threat
All around the world, 6.5 million deaths are associated with air pollution. The quality of air is on the fourth place on the top of health hazards, just after smoking, high blood pressure and dietary practices.
Smoking is by itself a contributor to air pollution. Statistics say that in the last 50 years, more than 2,5 million non-smokers died because of complications resulted from secondhand smoke exposure.
Poor air quality can cause severe asthma attacks and respiratory infections in children. Adults are more vulnerable to heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke.
The report shows that clean air should be considered a fundamental human right. However, most of the population around the world does not benefit from breathing a pure air.
There is no country in the world that can claim that air pollution is over. However, governments are urged to take measures to protect the air quality and to ensure their citizens are less exposed to health issues induced by the lack of clean air.
China has already started to address the problem, ever since Beijing announced red alert in 2015. In February this year, the capital city selected new standards for red alert threshold and decided to implement a pollution control system.
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