Reports: Air Pollution Responsible for Millions of Deaths Each Year and Developmental Problems in Babies
In the quest for energy and increased production, mankind may be sabotaging itself. Nature’s clean, sustainable, free energy sources are being affected, as industry empires rise up, shooting pollution from their stacks and skyscraper pipes.
Air quality is often taken for granted. Since people generally breathe involuntarily, they rarely realize what’s going into the body, as the lungs shuffle to take in oxygen.
According to the report from the World Health Organization, air pollution is now causing the deaths of 7 million people annually. The agency pointed out that one in eight deaths worldwide is caused by poor air quality. The organization believes that pollution is now the greatest environmental risk factor for disease and death. WHO reports that deaths due to poor air quality trumps deaths from AIDS, diabetes and road accidents combined. The agency estimated that nearly 4.3 million deaths in 2012 were actually caused by indoor air pollution, with indoor coal stoves being the greatest danger. The WHO report stated that 40 percent of those deaths come from China alone.
When one breathes polluted air, tiny particles make their way into the lungs and embed deep into the organ, causing irritation and, ultimately, inflammation in the heart.
“Poor women and children pay a heavy price from indoor air pollution since they spend more time at home breathing in smoke and soot from leaky coal and wood cook stoves,” said Flavia Bustreo, WHO assistant director-general for family, women and children’s health.
A Columbia University study that partnered with Chongqing Medical University linked toxic air pollution to developmental problems in infants beginning in the womb.
The universities studied the health effects that air pollution cast upon mothers and children living near an inefficient coal-fired power plant in China in 2002. The women were all nonsmokers, but they lived near a defunct plant that blasted out air pollution levels eight times greater than the U.S. legal limit. The results were compared with another group of nonsmoking women who gave birth in 2005, after the same power plant had been shut down. These women gave birth in air that was over eight times cleaner.
The researchers found that every single child born in 2002 living near the defunct plant lacked a vital protein needed for proper neurological development. Consequently, these children, exposed to bouts of unclean air, showed diminished learning and memory retention abilities.
Columbia’s Deliang Tang, who led the report, concluded, “I wasn’t anticipating such a clear difference when we compared the first and second cohorts, and this shows how much of an impact effective policies can have on local populations.”
Read more: Natural News