air pollution kills more people than smoking or wars - air cleaner
Breathing is the most basic thing we do as creatures.
Breathing gives us life and only stops when we die.
However, breathing kills millions of people every year.
According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is the cause of eight deaths.
8 million premature deaths worldwide each year.
The air pollution that people around the world breathe is enough to damage their health.
In some of the poorest places in the world, people are forced to breathe toxic chemicals from their cooking fires or workplaces --
Poisoning in the name of day-to-day survival.
But even in the richest country in the world, air quality can be so bad that children can't play outside, otherwise healthy adults will suffer from sore throat and burning eyes, without breathing, you can't climb the sofa lights beyond the stairs.
Beth Gardiner, an environmental journalist who used to be associated press, also writes for The New York Times, The Guardian, Time magazine and National Geographic.
She traveled around the world and got to know-
Air pollution and the loss it causes to the health and life of millions of people.
Pollution causes more deaths around the world than war or smoking: lankai told guest host Peter Armstrong of the weekly edition of her new book, "suffocation: the era of air pollution
This is part of their conversation.
This book is full of shocking statistics about air pollution and its impact on our health.
When you put them together, what are you most surprised or surprised?
Millions of people die each year from the health effects of air pollution, and I think the most striking part of it is how invisible air pollution is.
These deaths are scientifically clear, and the research behind these numbers is rigorous.
But at the same time, we cannot identify the link between cause and effect with the naked eye.
You know, if I had a heart attack tomorrow, I would never know it was because I lived in London for 18 years and the air was terrible and the diesel smoke was strong.
But I think when I started looking into the problem in depth, what surprised me was a series of diseases related to air pollution.
Most people will find that dirty air can cause asthma attacks, or can cause swelling or other breathing problems, or even lung cancer, which is quite intuitive.
But these effects are actually far beyond our lungs and our breathing.
Now, from heart disease, stroke to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, premature birth and miscarriage, science is closely linked to air pollution.
We have made great progress in understanding how far-reaching these effects are.
There are many components of air pollution, such as benzene, fine particulate matter, ozone and carbon monoxide.
We hear acceptable or safe levels of contaminants in the air, and when these levels exceed, we receive air quality warnings.
But how safe are these levels?
The more scientists know about the impact of air pollution on our health, the more they understand that there is actually no safety level.
This association is very tight, especially when you talk about the smallest particles --
They call it PPM 2. 5 —
The most dangerous.
As levels rise, the incidence of all these diseases is on the rise and the mortality rate is on the rise.
But in turn, when pollution drops, it usually depends on the actions and regulation of the government to make the air cleaner, and you will see that people's health is improving almost immediately and the mortality rate is declining.
How today's national air pollution affects your health, and as I grow up, we are always told whether you are rich or poor, whether you are strong or weak, we all breathe the same air, which is why we need to care about it.
One of the things this book does for me is to say to what extent this is not necessarily true.
I mean, will the poor and marginalized end up breathing the same air as the richer?
In fact, both are true.
The impact of air pollution on all of us is positive.
If you live in a city with poor air quality, it will affect everyone who lives there.
But at the same time, it has more impact on some people than others.
Poor people, communities of color, immigrant communities tend to live because of real estate prices, in areas close to busy highways or close to polluting factories or power plants.
In a sense, air pollution is indeed intertwined with all the biggest problems we face today --
Economic inequality, racial justice, climate change, corporate power issues, how we balance private profits with public interest and government power.
I think air pollution can trace all the cracks in our modern society.
When most of us think of the worst air, we think of Beijing.
But what you're depicting is how bad the air is in Delhi, India, which is a shocking picture.
How bad is life for the people there? It's terrible.
More than half a million Indians die from air pollution every year. That is a mind-
Even in such a large country, the figure is incredible, and unlike China, the air there is terrible, and India has not made any progress in dealing with this issue.
Air pollution claims in India
24 million people lived in India last year, which surprised me that there were too many pollution sources in India.
People have to use garbage fires and diesel generators because the power supply is unreliable.
This is an unregulated old car, the fuel is very dirty, in the field in the northwest of Delhi, the rest of the straw and things can not be removed after harvest, therefore, the farmers just lit their fire, the smoke from these fields floated to Delhi.
It just completely excludes the pollution there from the chart.
They use the phrase "the world's largest emergency for children's health.
"It's true, not just Pediatrics.
It affects everyone who lives there.
In Canada and the United States, coal remains an important part of the energy mixS.
Not to mention China and India.
You went to Poland where coal is still king.
Tell me about the role coal plays in Poland and what impact it has on people's health?
Poland is one of the most coal-producing countries.
Countries on Earth
It's not just power plants that use coal, but people use it at home.
As with the power plant coal, it is not good for air quality, which is even worse in people's homes, because they can only reach the cheapest kind, coal is the dirtiest.
When you burn it on a home stove, you don't have any scrubbing or filtering.
So when you walk around the cities and towns of Poland in the winter and come out of each chimney, you see this thick smoke.
It is foreseeable that the impact on people's health is terrible.
But there is resistance at the government level to other options.
"It will be great to have clean air": Poland's desire is that the climate negotiations that are crucial start with your book and the government needs to regulate this --
The private sector, industry and commerce will not be cleaned up on their own.
This is indeed a theme I have seen throughout the book.
We have seen that companies are more than happy to outsource costs on pollution issues --
Just release the pollution to the air, water or other places and let the public bear the impact on our health.
Only the government's regulatory powers are changing this situation.
I grew up with unleaded gasoline.
You're gonna pull it over for unleaded.
I never thought about it before I started doing this.
I thought the lead in gasoline was natural.
Then we took it out.
This is the source of unleaded gasoline.
What I have learned is that lead of siacetate is intentionally added to gasoline in 1920 seconds because it is considered a way to make the engine run more efficiently.
It was very clear at the time that it was a neurotoxin.
Some of America's biggest companies, including GM, are interested in putting it into gasoline.
It stayed there for decades until the 1970 s when the Clean Air Act forced sales of unleaded gasoline to become more common.
This book is very scary in some ways, but it is still full of hope --
This is not an impossible dream.
Where do you see hope?
This can indeed be solved.
We're talking about the Clean Air Act. you know the U. S.
This has been done in recent memory, just a few years ago, and progress is still being made on clean air.
So it's not impossible.
The problem with air pollution is that even gradual progress can lead to results.
If you can even raise the air quality by 15 percentage points, you can save the lives of many people.
By 2050, reducing global air pollution will save millions of lives every year, they say, and that is powerful and feasible.
However, I think it's a matter of choice, and it's the same as the climate change situation we're facing right now, and that's what we can do.
It depends on us: are we going to do this or not?
Now technology is there.
Including wind energy, solar energy, electric vehicles and so on.
But is there political will?
Click on the "list" near the top of this page to hear the full conversation.
Q & A has been edited for length and clarity.