Africa's air pollution is a deadly and growing problem

Pablo Tucker
June 7, 2019

The survey, held by research firm YouGov to mark World Environment Day, found that 26 per cent of the respondents take measures to reduce air pollution on a regular basis, while 31 per cent do it "sometimes when they remember".

The failure of governments across the world to ensure their citizens breathe clean air is a "violation of the rights to life, health and wellbeing", according to the UN's special representative on human rights and the environment.

Part of the reasons China is hosting the World Environment Day is because of the leadership they have shown as regards to tackling air pollution over the past years.

Approximately seven million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution. This year, the theme is "Air Pollution".


A recent study from NASA in the United States found some 780,000 premature African deaths per year were linked to air pollution from different causes.

By making use of an animal model, a team of scientists from Texas A&M University have ascertained that air pollution can result in congenital disabilities and fatalities during pregnancy.

To find out more about how you can celebrate World Environment Day and get involved in beating air pollution, you can visit the Wednesday website here.

Along with all the expansion came the emergence of mega cities, increases in energy consumption, and more emissions of air pollutants.


Ozone (at the ground level) causes asthma, bronchial symptoms, lung inflammation, reduced lung function and affects foetal brain growth in pregnant women. In India, firewood is the most common solid fuel.

In the same post, the person also had to describe what they would do to reduce air pollution.

While 59 per cent of the respondents said they used environmentally safe cleaning products, 58 per cent said they keep indoor plants and 47 per cent claimed they avoided smoking inside the house in order to improve the quality of air indoors. A widely distributed network of informal workers use crude methods like open burning to extract reusable components and precious metals such as silver, gold, titanium and palladiumgenerating toxic gases which pose severe health and environmental consequences. "The OECD has estimated the cost of pollution to be US$330 per head per year for the entire world". We do not lack the ability to address the historic environmental challenges that face us on this planet. Encourage the use of bicycles when safe and take initiatives to auto pool with friends, colleagues and family.

Throughout the day, the United Nations will be encouraging people to act to tackle air pollution and improve the quality of the air around them.


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