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Air Pollution

“Toxic air pollution shortens children’s lives by 20 months”



In the wake of the PM’s visit to Chiang Mai this week, and more than two months of high levels of hazardous air pollution, a report emerges that links air pollution to the life expectancy of children.

The international report says that air pollution will shorten life expectancy of children by up to 20 months on average.

The 2019 State of Global Air (SOGA) report say that South Asian countries such as India and Pakistan were most vulnerable.

The report acknoweldges that high levels of air pollution is the fifth leading factor in mortality across the world, responsible for more deaths than alcohol, malnutrition and drugs.Particularly at risk are countries in Asia and Africa, where high levels of lung-clogging PM2.5 micron particles in the air, and the regular use of coal for home cooking, result in a dramatically reduced life expectancy.

But in the past 2-3 months Chiang Mai, along with other regions in Thailand’s north, have recorded excessively high readings of smoke and haze, registering as “hazardous”, the highest level in the six scale readings.

"Toxic air pollution shortens children's lives by 20 months" | News by Thaiger

Graph from the 2019 State of Global Air (SOGA) report

The report also notes that 22 of the top 30 most polluted cities in the world are in India.

“The growing burden of disease from air pollution is among the major challenges facing national governments and public health officials, with far-reaching implications for national economies and human well-being.”

On average, according to the SOGA report, a child born today in South Asia will die 30 months earlier than he or she would have done otherwise. Globally, that figure is 20 months from the effects of air pollution.

The report brings into one place the latest information on air quality trends and health impact patterns for countries across the globe.

On the plus side, one of the success stories of the past year had been China, which although it still had severe air pollution problems, has seen a steep drop in PM2.5 particulates due to strict new governmental controls.

Chiang Mai (Top) and Chiang Mai (Below) readings from air for this morning.

"Toxic air pollution shortens children's lives by 20 months" | News by Thaiger "Toxic air pollution shortens children's lives by 20 months" | News by Thaiger


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