Outdoor air pollution is a major environmental health problem affecting everyone in low-, middle-, and high-income countries.  Ambient (outdoor) air pollution in both cities and rural areas was estimated to cause 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide per year in 2019; this mortality is due to exposure to fine particulate matter, which causes cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and cancers.  Addressing air pollution, which is the second highest risk factor for noncommunicable diseases, is key to protecting public health.

WHO estimates that in 2019, some 37% of outdoor air pollution-related premature deaths were due to ischaemic heart disease and stroke, 18% and 23% of deaths were due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and acute lower respiratory infections respectively, and 11% of deaths were due to cancer within the respiratory tract. READ MORE