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Air pollution

In March 2014, WHO published that air pollution is the single largest environmental health threat, both from the outdoor and indoor air pollution. Air pollution is taking a mounting toll on health globally with the deaths of an estimated 7 million people in 2012 linked to dangerous air. Among the six WHO regions, the Western Pacific bears a disproportionately high burden: an estimated 2.88 million (41%) of deaths globally due to indoor and outdoor air pollution occur here, although the Region accounts for approximately 25% of the world's population. Further, a serious disparity exists between richer and poorer countries within the Western Pacific Region: the mortality rate attributable to air pollution is estimated to be 5.4 times higher in lower- and middle-income countries than in higher-income countries (172 versus 32 deaths per 100 000 persons).

Major air pollution in the region is attributed by Particulate Matter of less than 10 and 2.5 micro meters in diameter (PM10/PM2.5). WHO guideline on PM10 is 20 μg/m3 for annual mean and 50 μg/m3 for 24-hour mean, on PM2.5 is 10 μg/m3 for annual mean and 25 μg/m3 for 24-hour mean.

Most WPR Low and Middle Income countries exceed WHO air quality guideline, and about 40% of WPR High Income countries meet WHO air quality guideline.

Disclaimer: The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the World Health Organization concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Dotted lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.


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