We all know that air pollution is a problem around the world but the World Health Organization (WHO) has just released a detailed study on how bad it is and what countries have the most air pollution.
The World Health Organization, an agency of the United Nations that focuses on international public health, says around 92 percent of the population live in areas where air pollution is more than their limits. Long term exposure to polluted air can have permanent health effects, such as bronchitis, asthma and sometimes cancer.
Air pollution has been a big problem for the world for years but how bad is it? The WHO says nine out of ten people breathe polluted air. Estimates say three million deaths a year are linked to outdoor air pollution. A few weeks ago, it was reported that outdoor air pollution could cause six to nine million deaths a year by 2060.
Indoor air pollution, which can cause respiratory diseases or even cancer, is also a big problem. When this type of air pollution is included in the numbers, the WHO says it is linked to one in every nine deaths around the world.
The World Health Organization study also revealed the countries that have the highest death rates linked to air pollution. Turkmenistan, a country with a population of 5.24 million people, has the highest death rate linked to outdoor air pollution. Tajikistan, a country with a population of 8.2 million people, is in second place. Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Egypt were also part of the top five.
China, the world’s most populous country, is sixth in the highest death rate linked to air pollution. But it has the most deaths caused by outdoor air pollution. A study last year revealed that outdoor air pollution contributed to the deaths of an estimated 1.6 people in the country. China has stepped up efforts to combat air pollution but the burning of coal in factories and vehicle use have made it difficult to stop the air pollution problem.
The WHO study did not reveal the least polluted country but recent studies have shown that Iceland, which has a population of 320,000 people, holds the title as one of the least polluted and healthiest countries in the world. The cleanest air can be found in Tasmania, an Australian island with a population of 515,000 people.