State of Global Air Report

State of Global Air Report

Context: The State of Global Air Report was released recently. The report is a collaborative assessment by the USbased Health Effects Institute (HEI) and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s Global Burden of Disease (GBD) project. This has been produced for the first time in partnership with UNICEF. The results are linked to the disease burden estimated for the year 2021 in about 200 countries. While the spotlight continues to be on PM2.5 and ozone, nitrogen oxides (NO2) has also been added for the first time in this risk assessment.

Key Findings:

• In 2021, air pollution contributed to 8.1 million deaths — more than 1 in 8 deaths worldwide. 58% deaths from ambient PM2.5, 38% from
household air pollution and 6% from Ozone.
• Air pollution was the second leading risk factor for early death worldwide in 2021, surpassed only by high blood pressure.
• Among children under 5, it was the second leading risk factor after malnutrition. Exposure to air pollution was linked to approximately 15% of all global deaths in children under 5.
• Countries in South Asia and Africa experience the largest burden of disease linked to air pollution. India, with 2.1 million deaths, and China, with 2.3 million deaths, account for 55% of the global burden.
• Globally ambient PM2.5 levels are decreasing or stabilising in many regions. Populations from low and middle-income countries are exposed to 1.3-4 times higher levels of ambient PM2.5 

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