MOSCOW (Sputnik) — More than 92 percent of people worldwide live in the areas where the levels of air pollution exceed safety limits, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement on Tuesday presenting a new air quality model.
"WHO air quality model confirms that 92% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality levels exceed 'WHO’s Ambient Air quality guidelines' for annual mean of particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres," the statement read.
According to the WHO, a total of three million deaths per year relate to exposure to outdoor air pollution, while indoor air pollution can be just as lethal. In 2012, about 6.5 million deaths (11.6 percent of all global deaths) were linked to both indoor and outdoor air pollution. Low and middle income countries are most subjected to air-pollution-related deaths, with 90 percent of such deaths recorded there.
"Air pollution continues take a toll on the health of the most vulnerable populations – women, children and the older adults… For people to be healthy, they must breathe clean air from their first breath to their last," Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director General at WHO said as quoted in the statement.
The new WHO air quality model shows health data related to air pollution by country collected via satellite measurements, air transport models and ground station monitors for over 3,000 locations both rural and urban, according to the organization. The WHO cooperated with the United Kingdom's University of Bath to develop the model.