10 facts about air pollution on World Environment Day

(Reuters News, 5 Jun 2019) Tackling the causes of dirty air and climate change together could bring big benefits for public health.

Nobody is safe from air pollution, the United Nations warned on World Environment Day, with nine out of 10 people on the planet now breathing polluted air.

This has led to a growing, global health crisis, which already causes about 7 million deaths per year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Burning fossil fuels for power, transport and industry is a major contributor to air pollution as well as the main source of planet-warming carbon emissions - and tackling both problems together could bring substantial benefits for public health.

Here are some facts on the human impacts of air pollution and its links with climate change:

1. Air pollution kills 800 people every hour or 13 every minute, accounting for more than three times the amount of people who die from malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS combined each year.

2. Some of the same pollutants contribute to both climate change and local air pollution, including black carbon or soot - produced by inefficient combustion in sources like cookstoves and diesel engines - and methane.

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Reuters News, 5 Jun 2019: 10 facts about air pollution on World Environment Day