If you live in a big city you already smoke every day

Air Pollution United Nations

World Bank/Kim Eun Yeul Air pollution in Cairo, Egypt.

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Alex Gray, Formative Content. The views expressed in this article belong to the author and not necessarily to The European Sting.

If you live in a big city you might have the lungs of a smoker, even if you’ve never touched a cigarette.

Scientists at Berkeley Earth have taken air pollution levels of major cities and compared them to the effects of smoking.

They found that, in some cities, the quality of the air is the equivalent to smoking more than three packets of cigarettes a day.

Image: Berkeley Earth

Air pollution

Some of the most harmful pollution consists of small particulate matter, 2.5 microns in size or less, called PM2.5. These particles are particularly dangerous because they are small enough to work their way deep into the lungs and bloodstream, where they can trigger heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and asthma.

The level of these particles in the air is measured in micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3), usually in an amount that is the average over a period of a year.

According to the work of Richard A. Muller and Elizabeth A. Muller at Berkeley Earth, an air pollution level of 22µg/m3 is the equivalent of one cigarette.

Cities with the worst air pollution

Image: Berkeley Earth

The city with the worst air pollution ever recorded is Shenyang, China. In 2015, the city recorded 1400 μg/m3, equivalent to smoking 63 cigarettes per day for every man, woman, and child living there.

Air pollution levels in New Delhi, India, have been recorded at 547 μg/m3, equivalent to smoking about 25 cigarettes each day.

Levels in Europe and the US are much lower. The average in terms of cigarettes per day for China is 2.4, the EU average 1.6, and the US average 0.4.

According to an app that takes air quality measurements and compares them to cigarettes, Paris has registered 6 cigarettes a day, Los Angeles 4.3, and Tokyo 4.1.

The World Health Organization’s global ambient air pollution map puts Cairo at 3.5 cigarettes a day.

The WHO says there are 3 million deaths every year as a result of exposure to outdoor air pollution. Nine in ten of the world’s population live in places where air quality exceeds their guideline limits.

WHO guideline limits for an annual mean of PM2.5 are 10 μg/m3. The real danger is that air pollution directly affects every age group, unlike cigarette smoking.

Tackling air pollution

In 2014, China declared a “war on pollution”. It has taken major steps to curb the pollution caused by industrial growth, such as dismantling coal-fired power plants.

It is also also investing heavily in energy-efficient buildings, smart transportation, renewable energy and many other green and low-carbon industries.

New Delhi’s air quality reached critically bad levels in November 2017, prompting the city’s doctors to declare a public health emergency. In response, the government brought forward measures aimed at slashing vehicle emissions, one of the major causes of the smog, by two years.

The Berkeley Earth report says air pollution kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria, diabetes or tuberculosis and its research come to a sobering conclusion:

“Air pollution is arguably the greatest environmental catastrophe in the world today.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Diana in Vietnam

Did young people just kill television?

Why exchange programs are essential for the medical students of the 21st century

Qualcomm to be the next target of EU antitrust regulators? China might be the answer

The gender gap of medicine in 2018

Movius @ MWC14: Discussing novel Communications Applications over a “CAFÉ”

Why impoverishment and social exclusion grow in the EU; the affluent north also suffers

The West cannot ignore Russia; dazed Germany sitting on the fence

The energy industry is changing. Are governments switched on?

Draghi cuts the Gordian knot of the Banking Union

Building cybersecurity capacity through benchmarking: the Global Cybersecurity Index

Brexit: The Conservative Party drives the UK and Europe to a perilous road

To end deforestation, we must protect community land rights

Consumers suffer three defeats

EU and Amazon cut deal to end antitrust investigation over e-books deals

American negotiators can’t pay for their trip to Brussels, EU-US trade agreement freezes

Professional practices of primary health care for Brazilian health and gender inequality

EU security and defence industry prepares positions for ‘producers’ and ‘customers’

EU Commission retracts on the Chinese solar panel case

UN humanitarian coordinator condemns Central African Republic hospital attack as ‘inhuman and unworthy’

The Ukrainian crisis to destabilize Europe and the world for a long time

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2014: European Youth, Change Now Patiently

Eurozone: Retail sales betray economic frailty

Theresa May in search of a magic plan to invoke Article 50 and start Brexit negotiations now

My Mothers

EU continues targeting on Chinese steel imports instead of the revival of its own economy

Is Eurozone heading for disinflation?

Around 2.5 billion more people will be living in cities by 2050, projects new UN report

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

Is there a way out of the next financial crisis? Can more printed money or austerity save us all?

The key takeaways of G7 Summit in Canada

Does the West play the Syrian game in Egypt?

“Will TTIP solve the massive EU-US unemployment? Absolutely not!” A revealing Sting Exclusive with Tim Bennett from the Transatlantic Business Council

Is a full course lunch, a new Commissioner and 2 million anti-TTIP citizens what you would call a “Fresh Start”?

€5 billion of EU energy efficiency project money spent on “comfort”

Eurozone economy desperately needs internally driven growth

Commission facilitates the activities of ‘merchants of labour’

The banks first to benefit from the new euro trillion ECB plans to print

What fighting malaria can teach us about linking purpose and business

Google and Apple suddenly realise that doing business in EU is tough?

Vendor Pulse – 2000

The European Parliament fails to really restrict the rating agencies

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commission’s Vice President Šefčovič accentuates the importance of innovation to EU’s Energy Union

New skills needed for medical students in Industry 4.0

Trump’s pounding of Iran less harsh than expected, leaves arrangement open

FIAT Chrysler: from Geneva Motor show to the World, and back

Central Africa Republic: Violence drives thousands of refugees into neighbouring DR Congo, says UN agency

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

Greece: The new government of Alexis Tsipras shows its colors

Politics still matter in the US but not in Europe

Yellen and Draghi tell Trump and markets not to expedite the next crisis

GSMA announces new keynote speakers for 2018 Mobile World Congress

Ecofin: ‘The Friday battle’ for the banking union

Commission caps charges on card and Internet payments and enforces competition

China and UK relations post Brexit as EU addresses Chinese takeovers

Eurostat overturns Commission’s assessment of the economy

China’s New Normal and Its Relevance to the EU

Trump systematically upsets global order and trade: Where does this end?

Eurozone and Britain heading in different directions

Is the ECB enforcing the will of the big Eurozone member states on the small? Can the euro area live with that?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s