Belarus has entered the list of the countries with the highest incidence of annual deaths from air pollution per 100,000 capita. The total number of deaths caused by air pollution in Belarus is estimated at 9,450.
A new WHO air quality model confirms that 92% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality levels exceed WHO limits, the organization revealed on Tuesday, September 27.
For the first time the WHO has broken down that figure to a country-by-country level for 184 states. The data from 2012 shows that the worst three nations with the highest total number of deaths are China (over 1 million people dead from dirty air), India (at least 600,000 ) and Russia (over 140,000).
When ranked by the number of deaths for every 100,000 people, Ukraine jumps to the top of the list with 120 deaths, followed by Bulgaria (118) and Belarus (100).
According to WHO, some 3 million deaths a year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution. Nearly 90% of air-pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
Ninety-four per cent of pollution-related deaths are due to noncommunicable diseases – notably cardiovascular diseases, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. Air pollution also increases the risks for acute respiratory infections.
“Air pollution continues take a toll on the health of the most vulnerable populations – women, children and the older adults,” says Dr Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director General at WHO. “For people to be healthy, they must breathe clean air from their first breath to their last.”