Just recently, Canada and the State of California has signed a new Clean Air pact. After seeing that on the news, I was inspired to research and write about the current air quality statistics across the globe.
When we talk about pollution, the air quality of the air we breathe comes into question. There are many harmful particulate matter. As we all know harmful substances such sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and chemical vapors are the common air pollutants. Long term effects of air pollution include respiratory diseases like asthma and emphysema. More serious effects of air pollution can include lung cancer, heart disease and birth defects. How worse can air pollution get? Well it can spread to nearby regions due to wind and weather currents. According to Greenpeace, about 7 million lives are taken due to air pollution and incurs a loss of $225 billion to the global economy. Therefore, air pollution should be considered a global issue.
Below is the current Air Quality statistics taken from IQ Air (https://www.airvisual.com/world-most-polluted-countries):
|9||United Arab Emirates||49.93||9,541,615|
According to the current statistics, most polluted nations of world in terms of air pollution are in South Asia. Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan have the worst air quality as of 2018. The South Asian nations of Bangladesh, Pakistan and India are rapidly developing countries who have high population centers and are going through an economic boom period (India and Bangladesh). We can basically say is that they are going through an Industrial revolution of sorts which the Western nations went through in the 18th and 19th centuries. The high amounts of development through fossil fuels is causing the poor air quality in such countries.
Even though China has many air quality issues, the city of Beijing through many clean air initiatives is making strides in better air quality. Due to rapid development, Indonesia and Vietnam have air pollution problems of their own. The city of Jakarta risks overtaking Beijing at the current rate.
Surprisingly, the list has many Balkan nations such as Kosovo, Bosnia Herzegovina and Turkey having lower end air quality. Unsurprisingly, there are many Middle Eastern nations with air quality issues due to burning of fossil fuels. North American nations of US and Canada have generally good air quality. However, due to forest fires and coal burning in some States, the air quality of the continent has diminished slightly.
Climate change is also playing a large role in poor air quality across the world. Through Climate change, more forest fire disasters are taking place damaging the land and air. Greenhouse gases from burning of fossil fuels is the major driver of Climate change and air pollution. More efforts are needed in cutting down of fossil fuels and in turn tackle air pollution. Also, more infrastructure is needed in measuring air quality of continents Africa and South America. Remember, this is a global issue and our future generations will also need clean air to breathe.
Clean Air is a human right !