Wednesday, March 26, 2014

7 million died of pollution!

From taxi tailpipes in Paris to dung-fired stoves in New Delhi, air pollution claimed seven million lives around the world in 2012, according to figures released Tuesday by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

More than one-third of those deaths, it said, occurred in fast-developing nations of Asia, where rates of cardiovascular and pulmonary disease have been soaring - and Malaysia was of no exception!

Around the world, one out of every eight deaths was tied to dirty air, the agency determined - twice as many as previously estimated. Its report identified air pollution as the world’s single biggest environmental health risk.

The report found that those who are most vulnerable live in a wide arc of Asia stretching from Japan and China in the northeast to India in the south.

Exposure to smoke from cooking fires means that poor women are especially at risk, the agency said. Indoor air pollutants loomed as the largest threat, involved in 4.3 million deaths in 2012, while toxic air outdoors figured in 3.7 million deaths.

Outdoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease:

  • 40% – ischaemic heart disease;
  • 40% – stroke;
  • 11% – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
  • 6% - lung cancer; and
  • 3% – acute lower respiratory infections in children.

Indoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease:

  • 34% - stroke;
  • 26% - ischaemic heart disease;
  • 22% - COPD;
  • 12% - acute lower respiratory infections in children; and
  • 6% - lung cancer.
Many deaths were attributed to both. Breakneck urbanisation in the developing nations of Asia, especially China, is a major force contributing to the air pollution problem.

The reports by the World Bank and WHO each said the burning of noxious fuels - coal, wood and animal waste - was among the greatest threats to human health. In India, the health agency estimated, 700 million people rely on biomass fuels like agricultural waste for indoor cooking.

Kirk R. Smith of the University of California, Berkeley, measured pollutants from smoky indoor ovens, and said they were comparable to burning 400 cigarettes an hour.

“Unfortunately, we have not made a lot of progress in the past decades, and household air pollution is still the largest single health risk factor for Indian women and girls,” the health agency quoted Dr Smith as saying.

In China, the bigger culprit is coal, which supplies two-thirds of the country’s energy.

FOOTNOTE: How many Malaysians died or suffered breathing difficulty from the haze and pollution? The Health Ministry should come up with a report.


Anonymous said...


if haze continues in malaysia for the next 3 years, all will die - 28 million of us!

mankind said...

The pollutants that contribute to global warming are commonly known as greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide is probably the best known greenhouse gas, but methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases also play a role in driving climate change (see Reference 1). Human activities that cause global warming pollution can be best understand by examining the various sources of each type of greenhouse gas.

if it goes uncontrolled, the effect will be devastating!

jendela dunia said...

Trees absorb and store carbon dioxide while releasing oxygen into the air. They can also help reduce your personal contribution to global warming. Deciduous trees, which lose their leaves in autumn, shield your home from the sun in the summer. Once cool weather arrives, their bare branches allow some warming solar heat to pass through to your home. Planting trees around your home can help you reduce your dependency on electric or gas heating and cooling units, which ultimately leads to lower amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

planting more trees will help reduce pollution. however, the activity of forest burning has increased.

in southeast asia, such activities contribute to the worst haze in malaysia, indonesia, singapore and other countries recently.

Anonymous said...

the WHO report is very alarming, right?

but what are the developed nations do about it - except to blame the developing nations like malaysia and thailand for over-logging.


Anonymous said...

Air pollution can result from both human and natural actions. Natural events that pollute the air include forest fires, volcanic eruptions, wind erosion, pollen dispersal, evaporation of organic compounds and natural radioactivity. Pollution from natural occurrences are not very often.

efforts should be multiplied by all countries to enforce a strong rules for those who break it, or we will end up in a smoky world soon

penangan said...

salam tn,

orang kita ni suka benda2 macam ni agaknya.

bakar hutan, bakar sampah dan sebagainya makin berleluasa dan sukar dikawal.

selain pembakaran semula jadi yang berpunca daripada musim panas, faktor manusialah yang paling memudaratkan manusia itu sendiri.

kita ada undang2 yang ketat juga mengenai pembakaran terbuka ni tetapi penguatkuasaannya masih rapuh... maaf tetapi inilah hakikatnya!

ruthless said...

sir, not an easy task to control air pollutant index, esp in the industrialised countries.

it is very costly...