11. SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES

Pollution poses greater risk to all human life than tobacco, alcohol: report

Pollution poses greater risk to all human life than tobacco, alcohol: report
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Pollution poses greater risk to all human life than tobacco, alcohol: report  New York Post

Pollution poses greater risk to all human life than tobacco, alcohol: report

This report may not be the breath of fresh air climate experts hoped.

Air pollution reduces the average life span globally by 2.3 years, making it the “greatest external threat to human life expectancy,” according to the annual Air Quality Life Index report published Tuesday.

Researchers from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago found that the effects of merely inhaling unclean air were comparable to smoking, but caused over three times the damage of alcohol use or unsafe water and over 5 times that of car crash injuries.

Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being

  • Air pollution reduces global life span by 2.3 years
  • Air pollution is the greatest external threat to human life expectancy
  • Inhaling unclean air is comparable to smoking
  • Air pollution causes more damage than alcohol use, unsafe water, and car crash injuries

In 2021, 20 of the 30 most polluted US counties were located in California, likely due to the state’s wildfires where some residents are regularly exposed to high levels of fine particulate matter, which measure at or below 2.5 microns, which has been linked to an array of health consequences that affect the brain and lungs.

Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

  • California’s wildfires contribute to air pollution
  • Fine particulate matter affects brain and lung health

In the same year, not one country met the World Health Organization’s air quality standard of 5 micrograms of pollutants per cubic meter of air (μg/m³).

Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action

  • No country met WHO’s air quality standard

In the US, the standard is 12 μg/m³, although the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a decrease in the national standard to 9 to 10 μg/m³.

Air pollution

In 2021, no country met the World Health Organization’s air quality standards.

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Should it be met, the Energy Policy Institute estimated that a combined 3.2 million years could be gained as a result.

Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being

  • Air quality standards can extend citizens’ lives
  • Potential gain of 3.2 million years

However, much of the air pollution that impacts life span originates in Africa and Asia, which reportedly contributes to more than 92% of the global life expectancy loss.

Yet, those regions — where air pollution is now as great of a threat to public health as HIV/AIDS and malaria — lack the appropriate infrastructure to address air quality.

Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being

  • Africa and Asia contribute to 92% of global life expectancy loss
  • Lack of infrastructure to address air quality

“Three-quarters of air pollution’s impact on global life expectancy occurs in just six countries, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, China, Nigeria and Indonesia, where people lose one to more than six years off their lives because of the air they breathe,” Michael Greenstone, Air Quality Life Index creator and Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics, said in a statement.

Bangladesh, for example, which has the most air pollution, averages a loss of 6.8 years of life. Comparatively, US residents only lost 3.6 months on average.

Air pollution

Air pollution poses a grave health threat, according to researchers.

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Researchers see this as an opportunity for further funding to “collaboratively build the infrastructure that is missing today,” according to Christa Hasenkopf, director of the Energy Policy Institute air quality programs and AQLI.

“Timely, reliable, open-air quality data, in particular, can be the backbone of civil society and government clean air efforts — providing the information that people and governments lack and that allows for more informed policy decisions,” Hasenkopf said in a statement.

But the seemingly impossible feat of tackling air pollution isn’t all that unlikely. China, for one, has significantly reduced its air pollution over the past decade following its “war against pollution.”

Air pollution

If countries met air quality standards, citizens’ lives could be extended.

Credit: Getty Images

As of 2021, the country had cut its air pollution by just over 42% and its citizens gained an average of 2.2 years in their lives, despite the fine particulate matter levels being six times higher than advised.

Last year, the World Health Organization estimated that 99% of the world was breathing potentially toxic air.

“After surviving a pandemic, it is unacceptable to still have 7 million preventable deaths and countless preventable lost years of good health due to air pollution,” Dr. María Neira, the director of the WHO’s Department of Public Health and Environment, previously said.

“Yet too many investments are still being sunk into a polluted environment rather than in clean, healthy air.”

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

  • SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13: Climate Action

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

  • SDG 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination.
  • SDG 11.6: By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management.
  • SDG 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

The article mentions several indicators that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets:

  • Air pollution reduces the average life span globally by 2.3 years.
  • Inhaling unclean air causes over three times the damage of alcohol use or unsafe water and over 5 times that of car crash injuries.
  • In 2021, no country met the World Health Organization’s air quality standard of 5 micrograms of pollutants per cubic meter of air (μg/m³).
  • The standard for air quality in the US is 12 μg/m³, but the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a decrease to 9 to 10 μg/m³.
  • A combined 3.2 million years could be gained if air quality standards are met.
  • Air pollution in Africa and Asia contributes to more than 92% of the global life expectancy loss.
  • Bangladesh, for example, which has the most air pollution, averages a loss of 6.8 years of life.
  • China has significantly reduced its air pollution over the past decade, cutting it by just over 42% and resulting in its citizens gaining an average of 2.2 years in their lives.
  • Last year, the World Health Organization estimated that 99% of the world was breathing potentially toxic air.

Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being SDG 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination. – Air pollution reduces the average life span globally by 2.3 years.
– Inhaling unclean air causes over three times the damage of alcohol use or unsafe water and over 5 times that of car crash injuries.
– Bangladesh, for example, which has the most air pollution, averages a loss of 6.8 years of life.
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities SDG 11.6: By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management. – In 2021, no country met the World Health Organization’s air quality standard of 5 micrograms of pollutants per cubic meter of air (μg/m³).
– The standard for air quality in the US is 12 μg/m³, but the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a decrease to 9 to 10 μg/m³.
SDG 13: Climate Action SDG 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning. – China has significantly reduced its air pollution over the past decade, cutting it by just over 42% and resulting in its citizens gaining an average of 2.2 years in their lives.
– Last year, the World Health Organization estimated that 99% of the world was breathing potentially toxic air.

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: nypost.com

 

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