99% of the global population is breathing air that exceeds the limits of the World Health Organization (WHO) air quality standards—and threatens health.
This statistic is based on an April 2022 report from WHO. It comes from the largest pool of air quality data to date—from over 6000 cities worldwide. Here are some key points:
- Most cities monitoring air quality exceeded WHO safety thresholds.
- Low and middle-income countries had worse air quality than high-income countries.
- Even low levels of exposure to air pollutants can cause serious harm to human health. And the health concerns?
Particulate matter (microscopic particles or droplets) are so tiny they can be inhaled, penetrate deep into the lungs, pass into the bloodstream, and contribute to serious respiratory or cardiovascular problems—including stroke.
Nitric oxide (a greenhouse gas) is also inhaled and can lead to asthma or other respiratory illnesses.
A 5-year study at a Cincinnati hospital found an association between children’s mental health (more psychiatric visits) and air pollution.
The next logical question is—what can we do?
Particulate matter pollution comes from burning fossil fuels for energy. It’s released from power plants, manufacturing, building, agriculture, and transportation. While we have little control over the air quality outside our homes, we can take steps to keep our indoor air as clean as possible:
✅ Air Purifiers
✅ House Plants
✅ Frequent Vacuuming with a HEPA Filter
✅ Non-Toxic Cleaners
✅ Organic Household Products
Sometimes the greatest threats to our health are hidden. I encourage you to be proactive today so that you can continue to feel your best over time.
Do you have questions about how your environment might be affecting your health? Send us a message to learn how we can help!
World Health Organization (WHO) News Release. Billions of People Still Breathe Unhealthy Air: New WHO Data. Published April 4, 2022. [link]
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