Juan G. R., Juan G. R., Juan P. J. A. Quality of the air we breathe continues to deteriorate in different countries.
Water and Irrigation Vol.: 11, No. 1: 10-12, March 17, 2020, Spain
The lowest air quality by country is present in China, India, the Middle East, Thailand and Mexico, which have 6 air categories, followed by Iran, Africa and Pakistan from 5 to 4. The best air quality corresponds to Australia. , Japan and South Korea as they have a good and moderate quality. The USA, EU, Russia and South America have 3 categories of air. The most polluted cities in the world correspond to: Canton, Shanghai, New Delhi and Mexico City. Policies have been adopted in different cities that tend to reduce the effects of greenhouse gases, measures are being used for the use of renewable energies, some progress has been made, however, it is necessary to address more effective policies that help to counteract simultaneously the effects of global warming, climate change, world population growth, deforestation and pollution of the environment by the impact of human activity.
According to UN-Habitat, cities consume 78% of the world’s energy and produce more than 60% of greenhouse gas emissions. However, they cover less than 2% of the Earth’s surface. By 2050, it is projected that there will be an additional 2.5 billion people residing in urban areas, of which almost 90% will live in cities in Asia and Africa.
Cities and pollution contribute to climate change and this in turn affects poor and low-income communities to a greater extent, in part because many of them live on the fringes of society, in unstable structures and in more susceptible areas to floods, landslides or earthquakes, but also because they have inadequate capacities and resources and reduced access to emergency response systems. This situation is exacerbated in developing countries.
In October 2018, the WHO reported that 93% of the world’s children breathe polluted air every day and affect 1.8 billion children who breathe air so polluted that their health and development are compromised in grave danger. The WHO estimates that 600,000 boys and girls died in 2016 from acute respiratory infections caused by air pollution. The main air pollutants are particles (PM) that consist of solid and liquid particles suspended in the air. This concept covers a wide range of substances. The PMs are divided into PM10 which are the coarse particles of diameter less than 10 microns and PM 2.5 which are the fine particles of diameter less than 2.5 microns, the more damage. The most polluting greenhouse gases are represented by nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a toxic reddish brown gas it is one of the nitrogen oxides (NOX). Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a colorless toxic gas that emits a strong odor it is one of the sulfur oxides (SOX), carbon monoxide CO, and carbon dioxide CO2. Tropospheric ozone (O3) 9 is a colorless gas that is formed in a layer close to the ground by the chemical reaction of certain pollutants – such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and NOX – in the presence of sunlight, according to Sources: EEA and WHO.
Heart disease and stroke cause 80% of premature deaths due to air pollution. They are followed by respiratory diseases, lung diseases such as cancer, liver, hematological and other diseases, and more than 7 million people die every year from diseases related to air pollution, according to the WHO.
Air quality not only depends on polluting emissions, it also depends on other factors such as: the proximity of the source and the altitude at which the pollutants are released; weather conditions, such as wind and heat; chemical transformations such as reactions to sunlight and interactions of pollutants; geographical conditions such as topography Air pollutant emissions are rooted in human action generated by transportation, power plants, and factories. They can also occur due to forest fires, volcanic eruptions, and wind erosion, according to Sources: EEA and WHO.
Developed countries are responsible for 46% of carbon emissions worldwide. However, only 20% of the planet’s population lives in them. The CO2 that comes from the industries constitutes 19%, the continuous increase of the means of transport and the energy consumption considerably increases the CO2 contribution.
The World Meteorological Organization warns that the concentration of carbon dioxide is the highest for three million years, according to per capita emissions of greenhouse gases. New York City produces about 7.1 tons of CO2 per year, compared to the United States average, which is 23.9 tons of CO2 per year. To mitigate this phenomenon, the head of UN-Habitat says that there are only two alternatives: either to generate clean energy or to consume less energy.
According to the organization here, the categories of air quality in micro grams / m3 is good between values of 30-45, moderate between 46-99, not healthy between 100-149, unhealthy between 150-195, very unhealthy between 200-295 and dangerous as it contains more than 300 micro grams / m3 of air. The WHO recommends an air concentration of no more than 30 micrograms per cubic meter.
The lowest air quality by country is present in China, India, the Middle East, Thailand and Mexico, which have 6 air categories, followed by Iran, Africa and Pakistan with 5 to 4 air qualities.
Average air quality is present by the USA, the European Union, Russia and South America, which have the first 3 air categories.
The best air quality corresponds to Australia, Japan and South Korea as they have good and moderate air quality.
The most polluted cities in the world such as: Canton, Shanghai in China, New Delhi in India and Mexico City are within the group of the main countries that have the lowest air quality, there is also pollution in other cities such as New York and Los Angeles in the USA, Lombardy in Italy and other cities in the world.
Policies have been adopted in different cities of the world that tend to reduce the effects of greenhouse gases and measures are being used for the use of renewable energy and energy consumption, some progress has been made, although it is necessary to address more policies effective measures that help to simultaneously counteract the effects of global warming, climate change, world population growth, deforestation, the fight against forest fires and pollution of the environment by the impact of human activity and it is possible to reduce the increase in diseases and premature deaths due to air pollution, as well as making humanity less vulnerable to attack by external pathogens with these measures.