World Health Organization: "Air pollution kills seven million people each year"

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The World Health Organization announces that 93 percent of world's children under the age of 15 are breathing polluted air.

According to Maria Neira, air pollution has terrible consequences for a child's growth and well-being.

Director, Department of Public Health, (WHO)
“We know that children will have problem with their neural and cognitive development. This is critically important. The same for your lungs, if you are exposed while you are a child or pre-natal, or post-natal, your lungs will be at risk and your development will be suffering.”

The World Health Organization's Director-General has also called for action to be taken on a global level to produce 'a world free of air pollution.'

He noted that 9 out of 10 people breathe air pollution from 'traffic emissions, industry, agriculture and waste incineration.' He also said around 3 billion people also are still using 'smoky, polluting stoves and fuels inside their homes for cooking and heating.'

Director-General, WHO
“Air pollution kills 7 million people each year.” “Our latest estimates are that up to one-third of deaths from heart attack, stroke, lung cancer and chronic respiratory diseases are due to air pollution.”

WHO and associate institutions have held the first Global conference on “Air Pollution and Health” in Geneva. They hope it will help in gaining more global support and commitment to protecting the environment. 

Pope Francis has persistently called for more action and cooperation to be taken in order to protect the environment. It is something he strongly expressed in his 2015 encyclical 'Laudato si'.'

In his meeting with climate change experts last July, the pope called for urgent action to be taken to leave the planet in a better condition for future generations.

“There is a real danger that we will leave future generations only rubble, deserts and refuse. So I express my hope that concern for the state of our common home will translate into systematic and concerted efforts aimed at an integral ecology. For 'the effects of the present imbalance can only be reduced by our decisive action, here and now.'”

In December world leaders will once again meet for the next climate summit (COP24) at Katowice, Poland. In their last climate meeting world leaders had promised to tackle climate change through the 2015 Paris Agreement. 

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