We all know that air pollution is a heated debate and that scientists are trying to reverse its effects, but officials tend to forget that many people do not witness an issue unless they are somehow scarred because of it. But while we casually avoid the subject and “leave it to the specialists”, pollution is killing 3.3 million yearly. Approximately 3 and a half million of us perish every year because of it and this might only be the beginning.
Pollutions has been carefully calculated by specialists from all over the world: Harvard University, Germany, Germany and Cyprus. Their attempt is to identify what exactly is causing so much havoc on our planet. While we already have our obvious culprits, they want to know that the exact percentages are so they can give indications about what to do next.
And things are not looking too good. If we do not somehow figure out what to do in the next years, the number of deaths might double, reaching a total of 6.6 million deaths. We should not make the mistake of thinking that we are under time’s protection, but we are not. These numbers might become reality by the time we reach 2050.
Jaon West, a professor within the University of North Carolina, has declared that “about 6 percent of all global deaths each year occur prematurely due to exposure to ambient air pollution” and this number is considerably higher than what specialists believed around 10 years ago. West did not participate in the study, but he agreed that it was well executed and of great importance.
Jos Lelieveld, the author of the study, has revealed something that is very worrying: air pollution takes away more lives than malaria and HIV combined tale in one year. China is one of the countries who is most afflicted by air pollution, with approximately 1.4 deaths every year. India and Pakistan come in as second and third place, but they have considerably smaller numbers: 645,000 and 110,000.
Lelieveld has revealed a rather interesting development: if humans manage to control carbon dioxide emissions, our planet will heal in time. Carbon dioxide also contributes to global warming increase, so if we manage to tone it down, soot and smog will also become less of a problem, making life on our planet a lot cooler and easier too.
The study should serve as a warning for all of us. We need to do something to save ourselves and the planet we live on.
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