Over the past few decades a lot of work has been put into improving air quality but a new study from the University of Exeter shows that despite our efforts, pollution is getting worse.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) have stated that air pollution is responsible for approximately 4.2 million premature deaths every year. Alongside this, new evidence also explains that it is damaging to cognitive function and psychological well-being.
Professor Gavin Shaddick, lead author of the study, added;
“While long-term policies to reduce air pollution have been shown to be effective in many regions, notably in Europe and the United States, there are still regions that have dangerously high levels of air pollution, some as much as five times greater than World Health Organization guidelines, and in some countries air pollution is still increasing”
This type of pollution is prevalent in low and middle income countries with the largest quantities of pollutants found in central and south-east Asia. This has been supported by findings from WHO that states 97% of cities in low and middle income countries don’t meet air quality guidelines. This figure falls to 49% in high income countries.
For more on this study, head to Earth.com here.