UN health agency warns of rise in urban air pollution, with poorest cities most at risk

UN health agency warns of rise in urban air pollution, with poorest cities most at risk

More than 80 per cent of people living in urban areas that monitor air pollution are exposed to air quality levels that exceed guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO), with populations in low-income cities the most at risk for respiratory diseases and other long-term health problems.

Some 98 per cent of cities in low- and middle-income countries with more than 100,000 inhabitants do not meet WHO air quality limits, according to the latest global urban ambient air pollution database presented today by the agency. In high-income countries, however, that percentage drops to 56 per cent.

“Air pollution is a major cause of disease and death. It is good news that more cities are stepping up to monitor air quality, so when they take actions to improve it they have a benchmark,”

said Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant-Director General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health. “When dirty air blankets our cities the most vulnerable urban populations – the youngest, oldest and poorest – are the most impacted.”  (…)
Read more in un.org