Striving for Clean Air : Air Pollution and Public Health in South Asia

World Bank (2022). Striving for Clean Air : Air Pollution and Public Health in South Asia. World Bank

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Nine out of the world’s 10 cities with the worst air pollution are in South Asia. South Asians are exposed to extremely unhealthy levels of ambient air pollution, especially in densely populated, poor locations. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Air Quality Guideline recommends that concentrations of PM2.5 - small dust or soot particles in the air - should not exceed an annual average of 5 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3). But in South Asia, nearly 60 percent of the population lives in areas where concentrations of PM2.5 exceed an annual mean of 35 μg/m3. In the densely populated Indo-Gangetic Plain, it is over 20 times the level that the WHO considers healthy (100 μg/m3 in several locations). Ambient air pollution is a public health crisis for South Asia, not only imposing high economic costs but also causing an estimated 2 million premature deaths each year. The health impacts of air pollution range from respiratory infections to chronic diseases, and from serious discomfort to morbidity and premature mortality. This drives up healthcare costs, lowers productive capacity, and accounts for lost days worked.

Item Type: Other
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Pollution Management (PM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2023 09:30
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2023 09:30

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