The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has called for immediate global action in reducing air pollution following estimated that reported the harmful effects of air pollution were much higher than previously thought. The warning came at the latest meeting of the UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), held in Paris.
"The estimations we have now tell us there are 3.5 million premature deaths every year caused by household air pollution, and 3.3 million death every year caused by outdoor air pollution," Dr. Maria Neira, the WHO's Director of Public Health and Environment, told the CCAC meeting.
Short-lived climate pollutants that are released through from diesel engine exhaust, smoke and soot from inefficient cook stoves, leakage and flaring from oil and natural gas production and emissions from solid waste disposal are blamed to cause serious health hazards, loss of crop and climate change.
Cook stoves were reported to emit carbon monoxide and other pollutants at levels up to 100 times higher than recommended limits.
Indoor air pollution was considered a leading risk factor in increasing the burden of diseases in South Asian countries. India ranks second for outdoor air pollution-related deaths with around 620,000 premature deaths in 2012.
The CCAC is already making efforts to air pollution by encouraging the use of modern technologies, which can lower the emission of pollutants by 10 to 50 per cent.