Half the world exposed to increased air pollution: Half of the world’s population is being exposed to increasing air pollution.

That’s the dire warning from new research conducted by University of Exeter researchers, which shows “vast swathes of the world’s population” are suffering from rising levels of toxic fumes, despite global efforts to improve air quality.

The main sources of fine particulate matter air pollution include the inefficient use of energy by industry, households, coal-fired power plants, the agriculture and transport sectors and with some regions also experiencing added effects from desert dust and sand, waste burning and deforestation, say the scientists.

Low and middle-income countries see its worst effects, with the highest concentrations of toxic chemicals in the air being recorded in Central, Eastern Southern and South-Eastern Asia, while both high and low-income countries suffer from the problem of poor air quality,

With the World Health Organization estimating more than four million deaths can be attributed to outdoor air pollution each year, it highlights that these fumes constitute a major threat to public health.

Chair of Data Science & Statistics, Professor Gavin Shaddick, at the University of Exeter said: “While long-term policies to reduce air pollution have been shown to be effective in many regions, notably in Europe and the United States, there are still regions that have dangerously high levels of air pollution, some as much as five times greater than World Health Organization guidelines and in some countries, air pollution is still increasing”.

Half the world exposed to increased air pollution

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