According to the WHO, 9 out of 10 people worldwide live in areas where pollution levels are too high.
In 2016 it was calculated that 7 million people worldwide die prematurely as a direct result of the low quality indoor and outdoor air they breathe. Air pollution causes death from strokes, heart disease, lung disease and cancer. It has been linked to restricted lung growth in children, asthma, type 2 diabetes and can affect fetal brain growth.
It is clear that the impact of pollution on the global population is huge and far reaching, with low and middle income countries suffering the most.
In 2015, as a result of work carried out by the World Health Assembly, air pollution made it to the world stage. 200 world leaders committed to improve air quality and reverse climate change on our planet by the year 2030. Since then, much has been done at country level to raise awareness and lower carbon emissions. But it is clear from the recent findings, there is still a huge amount of work to do.
This year, the WHO will be hosting its first global event to focus solely on air pollution and health. Taking place at the WHO HQ in Geneva, the event will look at the effects of pollution on our health and our environment and discuss strategies to help combat the problem.
For more on the event, please visit the WHO website here.