Air pollution is a global crisis that affects every corner of the planet. Its devastating impact on human health, the environment, and the economy cannot be overstated. Despite the alarming statistics and evidence, air pollution continues to worsen and claims millions of lives each year. However, there is hope. By prioritizing clean air, we can not only save lives but also build healthier, fairer, and more sustainable societies.
More than 7 million people die every year due to air pollution, making it one of the leading causes of death worldwide. This number exceeds the combined deaths caused by malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. Air pollution is an invisible threat that penetrates every organ of our bodies, including our lungs, hearts, blood, and brains. The sources of outdoor air pollution are numerous, including burning fossil fuels, transportation emissions, and industrial activities. By reducing air pollution, we can save millions of lives and protect the environment. Additionally, clean air policies can help fight climate change, promote social justice, and stimulate economic growth. At CleanAirNow, we believe in the urgent need to prioritize clean air and build a better future for all. That’s why we not only provide grant funding but also run projects that support, amplify and accelerate the clean air movement.
Air pollution is a serious public health issue that affects millions of people worldwide, with most of the population living in areas that exceed the recommended air quality limits. The tiny and invisible particles found in polluted air can cause a range of health problems, including asthma, strokes, heart attacks, cancer, and dementia. Unfortunately, vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing conditions are more severely impacted by the harmful effects of air pollution.
Additionally, the majority of deaths related to air pollution occur in low- and middle-income countries. As such, addressing air pollution is crucial to improving public health and building more equitable societies.
Air pollution and climate change are two of the most pressing environmental issues of our time, and they are inextricably linked. Both are primarily caused by burning fossil fuels, and both require similar solutions to be addressed effectively. In this way, improving air quality is not only a matter of public health but also a key strategy for protecting the planet from the impacts of climate change.
Air pollution is the contamination of air by toxic or polluting particles and gases, and it poses a significant threat to public health. It is responsible for millions of deaths each year and has severe health consequences for vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and those with existing health conditions. However, air pollution is not only a public health issue but also a critical component of the global climate crisis.
The causes of climate change are often the same as the causes of air pollution, such as transport, power generation, industrial emissions, and agricultural practices. In addition, short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) such as methane, black carbon, and tropospheric ozone are potent greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, local environmental degradation, and harm human health. Climate change can also exacerbate air quality issues, as rising temperatures, wildfires, and droughts can increase levels of ozone and particulate matter.
Air pollution is a deeply inequitable issue, with the most disadvantaged communities being hit the hardest. They are often the least responsible for dirty emissions but the most exposed in their daily lives. From Bangladesh to Indonesia, people on the lowest incomes bear a triple burden of poverty, poor quality environment, and ill health. They are the most affected by air pollution, the most likely to live in polluted neighborhoods, and the most likely to work outside or in settings more exposed to dirty air.
Globally, air pollution affects some countries more than others. Low- and middle-income countries, such as Afghanistan and India, have some of the highest levels of pollution in the world, resulting in higher fatality rates from air pollution. Children under the age of five living in lower-income countries are 60 times more likely to die from air pollution than those living in higher-income countries. It is crucial that we recognize the unequal impact of air pollution and work towards creating a fairer and more just world where everyone has access to clean air.
Addressing air pollution is crucial for promoting social justice across racial, gender, and income lines. It’s imperative to prioritize the participation of individuals most impacted by polluted air in discussions on clean air policies and initiatives.
Access to local air quality data plays a vital role as well. Community groups and policymakers can leverage data to comprehend and combat air pollution in their area, while uncovering historical and current-day disparities and promoting equitable decision-making. In addition, we collaborate with partners to conduct research that illuminates the disproportionate impact of air pollution on marginalized communities.
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