WHO Term Air Pollution As Public Health Emergency; Says, No Country Met Guidelines Regarding PM2.5


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that no country has met guidelines regarding PM2.5 in 2021. This is very serious and alarming information with respect to the air quality globally.

According to WHO, the average annual readings of small and hazardous airborne particles termed as “PM2.5” should not exceed the level of 5 micrograms/ cubic meter in 2021. But sadly none of the countries in the world is able to achieve the mark. Not only this the most polluted air index belongs to Central and South Asia. The Asian continent homes 46 most populated cities in the top 50 polluted cities in the world in 2021.

Why Air Pollution Is A Public Health Emergency?

The Director of the department of environment, Climate Change and Health, Dr Maria Neira, says that “Every year more than 7 million premature deaths every year, every single year associated with exposure to air pollution, I’m sure that everybody agrees that this is a major public health issue. Actually, 9 out of 10 people, especially living in cities, are breathing air that is not consistent with WHO set guidelines for good air quality.”

She also adds that the effect of Air pollution is not limited to the lungs and respiratory systems of human beings. In fact, many air pollutants lead to cardiovascular problems, neurological issues and reproductive system disturbances. So, the damage by the air pollution is a multi-faced effect. Although the primary system is involved in the respiratory system only.

The latest report on World Air Quality 2021 shows the magnitude of the problem which we have created for ourselves. The problems are deep and getting more intricate with every passing day and are affecting the planet as a single entity. One of the major reasons that contribute to the problem is the burning of fossil fuels. More and more utilisation of fossil fuels leads to a high level of pollutants in the air.

To overcome the issue the governments need to work on new strategies which help in the utilisation of new natural friendly methods to cut the use of fossil fuels. A new method of transportation, energy production, reuse and recycling can help to reduce the level of pollutants in the air in long term.

Awareness is important too along with steps taken to reduce air pollution. As the use of solar power, wind power etc are a few examples to tackle the climate issue. Protection of climate is not essential but the only way out for mankind to survive. As it does not belong to us only, it belongs to every living species of flora and fauna.