From dirty air annually kill millions of people. How to deal with it?

Hundreds of thousands of factories around the world pollute the air of our planet every day. For countries such as China, this problem is particularly relevant, because many Chinese cities are literally covered with smog from the industrial plants. But the problem is not just China: dirty air in the world annually kills more than five million people. And scientists say that by 2050 this figure will double.

Why is it dangerous to breathe the dirty air

Pollutants (ozone and particulates), invisible to the naked eye, contribute to the development of diseases of the lungs, the heart, and cause other serious health problems in people worldwide, the researchers said. About three quarters of the total number of premature deaths associated with exposure to air pollution, accounts for Asian countries. In China such pollution kills 1.4 million people a year in India – 650.

75 percent of deaths associated with dirty air, occur due to heart attacks and strokes. The remaining 25 percent are caused by respiratory diseases and lung cancer, said the study’s lead author from the Institute of chemistry of the max Planck Society in Germany.

According to experts, the fine particles generated by burning fossil fuels, organic matter, and other emissions sources, is very dangerous for health. Despite the statistics about the slow improvement of air quality in Europe, experts of the European Agency for control over the environment (EEA) believe that air pollution is a cause of 800 000 annual deaths among residents of European countries.

What disease causes dirty air

Every year from air pollution in Europe die almost 800 000 people. Most (40 %) developed ischemia of the heart, less — chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

They are so small that they can penetrate deep into the lungs, into the alveoli and into the bloodstream. We breathe the tiny chemical particles can evade the immune system and penetrates deep into the body. Naturally they are not excreted from the respiratory tract.

The scientists combined model of atmospheric chemical composition data on global health status of the population. We studied the effects of contamination from different sources related to fuel use. As it turned out, the largest contribution to premature mortality from air pollution contribute emissions associated with the burning of fuel for heating homes and cooking.

How to protect yourself

Despite attempts to limit the emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere, the amount associated with air pollution deaths will grow in the coming decades at times, unless urgent and decisive action. In the last fifty years in North America, Western Europe and Japan had made significant efforts against air pollution — including the use of cleaner fuels, more efficient vehicles, limiting the use of coal and the imposition of restrictions on power plants and factories.

Knowledge of the main sources of air pollution will help to take measures to improve the health status of the population.