Nearly 2 billion children – about 93 percent of the world’s children under the age of 15 – breathe toxic, putrid air that’s so polluted it puts their health and well-being at serious risk, according to a new report by the World Health Organization.
Many of the children die: The United Nations' World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 600,000 children died in 2016 from lower respiratory infections caused by dirty air.
“Polluted air is poisoning millions of children and ruining their lives,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO. “This is inexcusable. Every child should be able to breathe clean air so they can grow and fulfill their full potential.”
Air pollution can affect children's cognitive ability and can also trigger asthma as well as cancer. Children who have been exposed to high levels of air pollution may be at greater risk for chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease later in life...
The State of Global Air
Country-by-Country (interactive metrics) -- https://www.stateofglobalair.org/data/#/air/plot
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation -- http://www.healthdata.org/gbd
Over 7 Billion People Face Unsafe Air
Health Effects Institute -- https://www.healtheffects.org/
April 2018 / Air Pollution Global Health
Health Effects Institute has issued State of Global Air 2018 — the first update of the annual report and interactive website launched in 2017 with the aim of providing “one-stop shopping” for the latest trends in air quality and its impact on human health around the world.
For the first time, the 2018 report and website include worldwide estimates of exposure and health burdens from burning of solid fuels inside people’s homes. In 2016, a total of 2.5 billion people — one in three global citizens — were exposed to household air pollution from the use of solid fuels (for example, wood, charcoal, coal dung, or other biomass) for cooking and heating. Most live in low- and middle-income countries in Asia and Africa, and face a double burden: exposure to both indoor and outdoor air pollution...
A GreenPolicy360 Proposal:
City Air Quality Study via Google Map App
A Proposed Crowdsourced Project
Mapping Our Air -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:Mapping_Our_Air.png
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China Premier Pledges: ‘We Will Make Our Skies Blue Again’
BEIJING — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has pledged to make the country's skies blue again and "work faster" to address pollution caused by coal burning.
His words to delegates at the opening of the National People's Congress highlight how reducing smog has become a priority for the leadership because of public discontent.
In a report to China's ceremonial legislature, Li said that "people are desperately hoping for" faster progress in improving air quality.
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People in the UK are 64 times as likely to die of air pollution as those in Sweden and twice as likely as those in the US, figures from the World Health Organisation reveal.
"It is deeply tragic that around 3 million lives are cut short worldwide because the air we breathe is dirty and polluted. In the UK, air pollution is a public health crisis hitting our most vulnerable the hardest – our children, people with a lung condition and the elderly."
One Day's Toxic Air News Pulled from the Headlines
Decades ago Mexico City's air pollution was so poor, birds would fall out of the sky -- dead. Locals said living there was like smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, according to one report. In response, Mexico City took several steps to try to improve air quality including restricting driving one or two days during the weekdays. The program has had negligible results.
The Statistics, the Health Impacts, the Damages of Lives -- and What Are the Solutions?
What Can Be Done
Los Angeles, the 'worst in the world' in air quality in the 1950s. Now LA and California are 'out in front' of clean air and environmental initiatives, providing models of what can be done nationally and internationally.
California / AB 1493, Pavley. Vehicular emissions: greenhouse gases
...a model of green legislative best practices
...the "Pavley Law"', first legislation in the world to regulate greenhouse gas emissions of passenger vehicles... these visionary California environmental protection laws/regulations became model air quality / air pollution legislation and were ultimately adopted by the United States as the national standard. ARB 1 ARB 2
- Jerry Brown (2015): "California has this history that really derives from the experience of smog in the Los Angeles Basin, and the response to that over many administrations has led to where we are today. As a matter of fact the standards that were established under the so-called Pavley Law, 'the first legislation in the world to regulate greenhouse gas emissions of passenger vehicles, were ultimately adopted by the United States as the national standard'".
"Today Los Angeles has ten times as many cars as it did in the 50s, and the air is 95 percent cleaner. That’s a pretty dramatic move, one that countries like China and India are taking notice of."
"So we’ve had that history. As far as people’s attitudes I would say that there is a strong preference for favoring policies that nurture the environment as oppose to those that disrupt them."
"But if you dig deeper into the use of things or creature comforts, I don’t think we’ve attained the level of enlightenment that Pope Francis is calling for."
Regulation of Air Pollution Needed Around the World
A Lung Specialist Explains
- http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32352722 - Breathing Poison
Smog, ground-level ozone, causes a host of respiratory consequences, ranging from coughing, wheezing and throat irritation, to asthma, increased risk of infection, and permanent damage to lung tissue.
Via the Guardian, 2016 / “We have a public health emergency in many countries from pollution. It’s dramatic, one of the biggest problems we are facing globally, with horrible future costs to society,” said Maria Neira, head of public health at the World Health Organization. “Air pollution leads to chronic diseases which require hospital space. Before, we knew that pollution was responsible for diseases like pneumonia and asthma. Now we know that it leads to bloodstream, heart and cardiovascular diseases, too – even dementia. We are storing up problems. These are chronic diseases that require hospital beds. The cost will be enormous.”
- The toxic haze blanketing cities could be clearly seen last week from the international space station.
- Poor air quality is killing millions and threatening to overwhelm health services across the globe.
- With nearly 1.4 million deaths a year, China has the most air pollution fatalities, followed by India with 645,000 and Pakistan with 110,000.
- The latest scientific research, published in the journal Nature, suggests that air pollution now kills more people a year than malaria and HIV combined, and in many countries accounts for roughly 10 times more deaths than road accidents.
- According to the WHO, air quality is deteriorating around the world to the point where only one in eight people live in cities that meet recommended air pollution levels.
- "We are only just learning about the scale of the toxicity of coal and diesel... This is a deep, deep problem."
Video of 'Smog' in Delhi, the world's most polluted air
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See also: Citizen Science
What you can do about air pollution
Many new citizen-led initiatives are using science, sensors and the Internet to track, and deal with, levels of air pollution...
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- Wearable Devices / 'Digibody'
Emerging technology means anyone with a smartphone can become a mobile environmental monitoring station
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Air Pollution G. Tyler Miller’s Living in the Environment - http://slideplayer.com/slide/5994183/
Air Visibility Monitoring (Android app) - http://robotics.usc.edu/~mobilesensing/Projects/AirVisibilityMonitoring
Citizen Science Alliance - http://www.citizensciencealliance.org/
Climate Change and Citizen Science - http://www.slideshare.net/CitizenScienceCentral/citizen-science-and-climate-change-west
Cyber Citizens - http://up.secondwavemedia.com/innovationnews/smartphone100913.aspx
Eight Apps that Turn Citizens into Scientists - http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/8-apps-that-turn-citizens-into-scientists/
Environmental Health Perspectives / Ischemic Heart Disease Mortality and Air Pollution - http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/wp-content/uploads/advpub/2015/12/ehp.1509777.acco.pdf
Mobile Apps for Citizen Science (via Smithsonian) - http://www.ssec.si.edu/blog/mobile-apps-for-citizen-science
NASA Earth Exchange (NEX platform for scientific collaboration, knowledge sharing and research for the Earth science community) - https://nex.nasa.gov/nex/
National Science Foundation (US/"Citizen Science") - http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/citizenscience.jsp
Open Scientist - http://www.openscientist.org/p/citizen-science-for-your-phone.html
Open University Lab - http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/open-science/
Project Noah (National Geographic) - http://www.projectnoah.org/
Scientific American - http://www.scientificamerican.com/citizen-science/
Sensr, Citizen Science app (Carnegie Mellon) - http://www.sensr.org/
You can be a scientist too (EPA) - http://www.epa.gov/climatestudents/scientists/citizen-science.html
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