Health and the environment: addressing the health impact of air pollution

Air pollution is the world's "largest single environmental risk", according to this “landmark resolution” passed at the World Health Assembly, which closed last week in Geneva. It highlights the key role of the national health authorities in raising awareness about the potential to save lives and reduce health costs, if air pollution is addressed effectively. 

World Health Assembly passes landmark resolution on air pollution and health. The resolution identifies 13 measures member states should strive to implement, including actions such as: enabling health authorities to raise awareness on the dangers of air pollution, developing guidelines to limit exposure; and working with relevant private and public sector actors on sustainable solutions. In a pivotal decision the 68th World Health Assembly passed a resolution marks the most high level health action on air pollution to date. The resolution recognized air pollution as one of the leading avoidable causes of disease and death globally with 4.3 million deaths occurring each year from exposure to household (indoor) air pollution and 3.7 million deaths each year attributed to ambient (outdoor) air pollution, at a high cost to societies.

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