Air Pollution

Air Pollution

“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.

Infographic shows the major air pollutants and sources in Ireland
Air Pollution in Ireland (source)

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


WHO References

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