The WHO estimates that around 7 million people die each year from exposure to fine airborne particles that penetrate deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system, causing diseases such as stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, lung chronic obstructive diseases and respiratory infections, including pneumonia.
Air pollution alone caused around 4.2 million deaths in 2016, while air pollution in homes by cooking with fuels and polluting technologies caused an estimated 3.8 million deaths in the same period.
More than 90 percent of deaths related to air pollution occur in low- and middle-income countries, mainly in Asia and Africa, followed by low- and middle-income countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, European and American regions.
Nearly 3,000 million people – more than 40 percent of the world’s population – still do not have access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking in their homes, which is the main source of air pollution in homes. WHO has been monitoring air pollution in homes for more than a decade, and while the rate of access to clean fuels and technologies is increasing everywhere, improvements do not keep pace with population growth in many places. of the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
WHO recognizes that air pollution is a major risk factor for noncommunicable diseases and causes a quarter (24 percent) of all adult deaths from heart disease, 25% from heart attack, 43 percent from obstructive lung disease chronic and 29 percent from lung cancer.