More deaths from dirty air than from smoking

Over 440'000 people die each year in Europe in air pollution-related causes

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92% of all people worldwide do not breathe clean air according to WHO data

What are the main causes?

- Combustion of oil, coal and other materials (cars, dirt from roads, forest fires, power plants, waste incineration and heating)

- Mass livestock farming ("exhaust fumes" from farm animals)

- Volcanic eruptions can also contribute to higher particulate matter levels in the atmosphere.

Air pollution is particularly severe in megacities such as Delhi (India), Karachi (Pakistan) or Narayanganj (Bangladesh).

Air pollution in the megacity Delhi
Air pollution from outer space
People wear masks because of the dirty air.

The guideline values are greatly exceeded

Worldwide, 93% of children under the age of 18 live in regions where particulate matter levels exceed the prescribed limits. In Africa and eastern Mediterranean countries like Turkey, it is even almost 100%. The guideline values come from the WHO. They also say that air pollution shows above all that poorer countries and industrial nations are much more at risk than high-income countries.

In 2016, more than half a million children died worldwide due to air pollution

According to the WHO, air polluted by fine dust, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and suspended particles led to the premature death of more than half a million children under the age of five worldwide in 2016. The authors of the report also write that children account for 9% of all deaths caused by air pollution.


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