Air pollution is not just a local or national problem, but a problem for the entire planet Earth. That is why the United Nations General Assembly has declared 07 September as the International Day for Clean Air and Blue Skies to encourage people worldwide to improve air pollution.
“The mortality effect of exposure to extreme temperatures and pollution is greater than the sum of their individual effects.” That’s how Md Mostafijur Rahman, PhD, summarizes the results of a study done by researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
The findings have high relevance as the exposure to heat, and air pollution will grow with climate change. Read more
When Sahara sand is blown toward us, we initially perceive it as an interesting visual spectacle: the sky turns yellowish, and the atmosphere outside is reminiscent of warm Christmas lights. As soon as the sand settles as a fine layer of dust on cars, garden furniture and window sills, we are usually less enthusiastic… Read more
Air pollution is a great enemy of our health! But not only for eyes, lungs and heart, but also for our skin. The skin is the largest human organ in weight and surface area. The skin is like a protective coat and fends off environmentally harmful influences such as particulate matter, soot and smoke. However, this constant work that our skin does can also leave its mark. If the skin is exposed to continuous air pollution, skin problems and diseases result.
To live, we need the air to breathe. Clean air is essential for a healthy life. An adult human breathes about 7.5 litres of air per minute. Only healthy air keeps people and nature healthy. Air pollution has been shown to cause lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, asthma, heart disease and strokes.
As in the previous year, the sale and lighting of fireworks and firecrackers on New Year’s Eve were restricted or banned nationwide due to the Corona pandemic. The level of particulate matter in Munich and other cities, which is harmful to health, was pleasingly low at the turn of 2021/2022. Like last year, the maximum particulate matter values remained far below the values measured in previous years with New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Access to clean air has recently been recognised as a human right but is not yet part of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. More than 29 000 children around the world have now called for their right to clean air to be recognised as part of the Freedom to Breathe campaign, which will be implemented within a forthcoming amendment to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Is this particular emphasis on the right to clean air specifically necessary? Or, to put it another way, do children suffer differently from air pollution than adults?
At the end of the year, there is a regular discussion about whether fireworks should be dispensed with on New Year’s Eve or whether they should even be officially banned. This year, the discussion was additionally fuelled by the situation with Corona and the ban last year, which was mainly due to Corona.
At the beginning of this week, all major media reported 300 000 premature deaths due to particulate matter pollution in 2019 within the EU (e.g., Spiegel or Süddeutsche Zeitung). This news refers to a communication of the European Environment Agency (EEA), which certifies in principle a positive development of air quality in Europe, but also points out how many premature deaths are due to increased fine dust pollution.
By reducing the recommended heights, existing laws come under pressure – or at least are being questioned. While the European Air Pollution Control Directive largely complied with the previous WHO recommendations from 2005, gaps are now apparent. The EU has already announced a revision and launched the corresponding consultation. Read more