How Much Of The World Is Polluted – Health damage due to air pollution costs between 0.4% and 6% of annual GDP in the world’s leading cities in the first half of 2020, due to increased risks of chronic diseases, asthma, work absences, premature births and many other health impacts . CREA worked with AirVisual and Greenpeace to release an online tool that tracks the health impacts and economic costs of air pollution in the world’s cities in real time.
The results show that out of the 28 cities included, New Delhi bore the highest cost of air pollution, amounting to 5.8% of its annual GDP. The costs include absences from work due to sick leave, number of people suffering from asthma as well as asthma-related trips to the hospital, years of life lost and years lived with the disability, and premature births. All add up to a total cost of $3.5 billion for the past six months.
How Much Of The World Is Polluted
Cities with the highest costs as a percentage of GDP are cities with the highest pollution levels: New Delhi, Beijing, Mumbai, Shanghai, Jakarta, Guangzhou, Bangkok, Moscow, Hong Kong and Seoul. Other factors include the prevalence of other risk factors for chronic diseases and level of health care services.
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Cities with the highest costs in dollars per capita tend to be cities with both relatively high pollution levels and income and cost levels: Canberra, Los Angeles, Berlin, Seoul, Tokyo, London, Dubai and Bucharest top the list.
The tool’s results also highlight the tremendous public health impact and cost of Australia’s catastrophic wildfires: Canberra’s average PM2.5 pollution levels in December were 8 times higher than the city’s average, with the increased PM2.5 exposure expected become to result in health. cost of $600 million and 260 excess deaths over the next year. As a result, Canberra, normally a much less polluted city, lists the highest cost per capita among the 28 cities.
New Delhi has the highest cost of air pollution, accounting for 5.8% of its GDP. The cost of air pollution was calculated separately for PM2.5 and NO2, based on the health impacts of each pollutant. In New Delhi, non-communicable diseases and lower respiratory infections were exacerbated by PM2.5 and NO2, leading to deaths, years of life lost and years with disability. Lower respiratory infections in children resulted in deaths and years of life lost. More than 4,000 new cases of asthma in children have been attributed to high levels of NO2 pollution. This in turn increased the number of children suffering from asthma by 16,000. Exposure to PM2.5 resulted in more than 15,000 asthma-related emergency room visits for children. The cost of children’s lives lost due to PM2.5 reaches $310 million.
The total cost of air pollution in New Delhi is $3.5 billion. The figure below shows the distribution of the costs in percentages according to the air pollution that causes a certain loss of health. Years of loss of life, due to high levels of PM2.5, make up for most of the cost. This cost amounts to about $2.57 billion, or 54.9% of the total cost.
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The counter builds on the methodology of the CREA report “Quantifying the economic costs of air pollution from fossil fuels”. For that report, we combed the scientific literature for the latest results on the health impacts of air pollution, and economic costs of various health conditions linked to air pollution in the scientific literature. Only exposure-response relationships that were mature enough to already be used to quantify the total burden of air pollution in peer-reviewed publications were qualified.
The different health impacts of air pollution affect the economy in different ways – e.g. children who have asthma means increased costs for the health care system, children’s caregivers having to take time off work to accompany the child to the hospital or doctor, and impaired learning results. An adult suffering from disability caused by a stroke, for example, will similarly incur higher health care costs and lower economic productivity.
In addition, a higher risk of death or disability affects people’s well-being; these welfare costs can be measured in money using an approach called willingness-to-pay. We include these different types of costs as far as possible. The details of how we assigned an economic cost to each type of health impact are in the report; they are all based on existing studies that determine those costs.
The online tool uses air pollution concentration data from AirVisual’s global database to track air pollution exposure in real time. While most of the health impacts are chronic, due to long-term exposure, that exposure consists of the pollution we inhale every day.
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To understand how we can link specific health impacts to air pollution, consider this example of a hypothetical city of 1 million people: say the death rate from lung cancer in the city is 100 deaths per year per 100,000 people, so every year about 1,000 people die of lung cancer in that city. The proportion of these deaths linked to air pollution is assessed based on a risk model developed by the Global Burden of Disease project. Based on the model, if the annual average PM2.5 level is 20ug/m3, the risk of dying from lung cancer is 25% higher than for people living in clean air. This means that without air pollution the death rate from lung cancer would be 80 deaths per 100,000 people, which means that a total of 200 deaths per year would be avoided if air pollution were brought below the threshold concentration for this impact.
Scientific research establishing a link between health risks and air pollution is generally based on annual average pollutant levels. Our tracker first projects the health impacts and economic costs of the past year (365 days) of exposure to air pollution. We then calculate the magnitude of the exposure to air pollution that has occurred in the past year since the beginning of the calendar year, and attribute this portion of the impact to the period from the first of January to the current date.
The economic impact of these deaths manifests itself in different ways: some of the people will still be of working age, which means that their labor input will be lost. For retired people, spending power and demand will be lost. Talented workers will be less willing to move to the city because of the risk of suffering health consequences. Willingness-to-pay surveys measure the economic costs people attribute to a small additional risk of death or other health impacts, such as the 1:5,000 chance of dying of lung cancer from air pollution in our hypothetical city. originally posted on Elements. Join the free mailing list to get beautiful visualizations on natural resource megatrends in your email every week.
Of the six common air pollutants, particles measuring 2.5 microns or smaller in diameter, or PM2.5, are considered the most harmful to human health. This is because of its occurrence in the atmosphere and the wide range of adverse health effects associated with its exposure, such as heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and chronic respiratory diseases.
Revealing The Cost Of Air Pollution In World’s Cities
With that context in mind, this visualization uses IQAir’s World Air Quality Report to depict the 2022 average PM2.5 concentrations in select major cities around the world, expressed in micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m³).
Did you know that in 2019 only 1% of the world’s population lived in places where the WHO’s global air quality guidelines were met?
Designed to protect public health from the harmful effects of air pollution, the guidelines cover a range of air pollutants, including particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide.
Percentages are calculated as a proportion of the 131 countries that had sufficient air quality data and were included in IQAir’s World Air Quality Report in 2022.
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According to IQAir’s World Air Quality Report, only 13 countries or territories have reached the recommended concentration of PM2.5 in 2022. Among them were Australia, Finland, Puerto Rico, Iceland, Bermuda and Guam.
Above this guideline, many countries fell within the four interim targets, while almost 14% recorded air pollution levels that exceeded all target levels.
Although it can be a bit difficult to grasp what the above concentrations represent, thinking about them in terms of their effect on mortality can shed some light on their meaning.
According to the WHO, non-accidental death rates multiply by 1.08 per 10 µg/m³ increase in PM2.5 concentration, but only up to 35 µg/m³. Above this, mortality growth rates may not be linear, leading to many more deaths.
Half The World’s Population Are Exposed To Increasing Air Pollution
Beyond interim target 1 (above 35 μg/m³), deaths may grow much faster. As of 2022, about 14% of countries report levels above this threshold, including Chad, India, Pakistan, Qatar and Nigeria.
While many cities in North America and Europe have seen steady and relatively lower PM2.5 concentrations over the last few years, many cities (especially those in Asia) have made progress in reducing their air pollution levels.
Most parts of the world did not meet the WHO’s annual recommendation for clean and healthy air in 2022.
However, the cost of inaction towards cleaner air is very high. In addition to the millions of premature deaths each year, the
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