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According to WHO data, billions of people around the world continue to breathe polluted air.

GENEVA, Switzerland – According to new data released by the UN agency on Monday, 99 percent of the world’s population breathes air that exceeds World Health Organization (WHO) air quality regulations, encouraging a world less reliant on fossil fuels.

Ground observations of annual mean concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a common urban pollutant and precursor of particulate matter and ozone, will be added to the WHO’s air quality database in 2022, according to the WHO.

According to the World Health Organization, a record number of over 6,000 cities in 117 nations now monitor air quality, but residents still breathe dangerous fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide.

People in poor and middle-income countries are the most vulnerable.

“Current energy problems emphasize the urgency of hastening the transition to cleaner, healthier energy systems,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus.

“High fossil fuel costs, energy security, and the compelling need to address the twin health crises of air pollution and climate change underline the urgent need to move faster toward a society that is considerably less reliant on fossil fuels.”

The findings of the current study have prompted the WHO to emphasize the necessity of reducing air pollution levels by reducing fossil fuel use and implementing other concrete initiatives.

Today is World Health Day.

The new information was released ahead of World Health Day, which is celebrated on April 7 and this year’s theme is “Our Planet, Our Health.”

The new air quality database, according to the WHO, is the most comprehensive yet in terms of air pollution exposure on the ground.

In comparison to the last update, 2,000 additional cities and human settlements are now recording ground monitoring data for particulate matter, PM10 and/or PM2.5, according to the WHO.

Both pollutants are primarily caused by human activities such as fossil fuel combustion, according to the report.

Since the database’s inception in 2011, there has been an almost sixfold increase in reporting.

According to the WHO, evidence of the harm caused by air pollution to the human body is quickly growing, and even low levels of certain air pollutants can cause significant injury.

Particulate matter, particularly PM2.5, has the ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and into the circulation, producing cardiovascular, cerebrovascular (stroke), and respiratory effects.

New evidence suggests that particulate matter has an impact on other organs and causes disorders.

“NO2 is linked to respiratory disorders, particularly asthma,” according to the WHO, “resulting in respiratory symptoms (such as coughing, wheezing, or trouble breathing), hospital admissions, and emergency department visits.”

The World Health Organization amended its Air Quality Guidelines last year, making them more severe in order to help countries properly assess the healthiness of their air.

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