Global Health Risks Associated with Air Pollution — What Are the Health Effects of Air Pollution?
The devastating impact of air pollution on human health was a central issue at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).
A delegation of mothers from around the world — Brazil, India, Nigeria, Poland, South Africa, and the UK, specifically — presented a letter to the president of the conference calling on world leaders to limit air pollution and protect children who are being harmed by its effects. One of the women’s daughters, who passed away last year, was the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as her official cause of death.
The letter was signed by 500 parent groups from 44 countries, showing a global need to protect children from the effects of air pollution.
The World Health Organization names air pollution as one of the biggest threats to human health globally. In 2019 in Delhi, which is one of the world’s most polluted cities, air pollution contributed to the deaths of more people than any other risk factor. The risk of fatal air pollution-related health complications is greater for children from poor families, a New York Times investigation found, because they spend more time outdoors and are more likely to use wood-burning stoves for cooking and as a source of heat.