“The true cost of climate change is felt in our hospitals and in our lungs.”
Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health
The WHO proclaimed air pollution as one of the top ten global health threats of 2019 (source). According to the Lancet Commission in 2017, 92% of all pollution-related mortality is seen in low-income and middle-income countries—an unequal and unfair health inequality. We demand health professionals across the world respond with focused, urgent action.
Heath outcomes associated with high air pollution rates include:
- Lungs: Risk of developing asthma, bronchitis, accelerated aging of lugs, and the loss of lunch function and elasticity.
- Heart: Increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke
- Cancer: Increased risk of lunch cancer (according to the WHO, 29% of all lung cancers are linked to air pollution).
- Maternal issues: Including preterm delivery and risks, low birth weight, and adverse birth outcomes.
- Economic impact: According to DCCAE, economic impact of air pollution health impacts in Ireland results in €2 billion lost per year; including the loss of 382,000 workdays per year.
Medical Studies / Journals
- The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health– Lancet 2017
- Outdoor Air Pollution & Asthma – Lancet 2014
- Exposure to traffic related air pollution & risk of development of childhood asthma – systematic review – Environment International 2017
- Pollution, Health & the Planet – Lancet 2017
- Extreme air pollution from residential solid fuel burning – Nature Sustainability 2018 (study from NUIG Prof O Dowd team)
- The Impact of Air Pollution on deaths, disease burden, and life expectancy across the states of India: the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 – Lancet Planetary Health 2017
- Neighborhood deprivation and health in Britain – mediating role of physical environment – Environment International 2018
- Associations of Exposure of Air Pollution with Insulin Resistance – systematic review – int Environment Res Public Health 2018
- Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Child BMI—A Study of Prenatal Exposure to Nitrogen Oxides and Body Mass Index in Children at the Age of Four Years in Malmö, Sweden – Int Environment Res Public Health 2018
- Air pollution and urbanicity: common risk factors for dementia and schizophrenia? – Lancet Planetary Health 2017
- The WHO First Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health
- Burning Opportunity: Clean Household Energy for Health, Sustainable Development, and Wellbeing of Women and Children (2016)
- Health and sustainable development: key health trends
- WHO Guidelines for indoor air quality: Household fuel combustion
Of general interest
“When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.”
Native American quote