Effects on Your Health

 
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Regardless of the source, air pollution has a clear and devastating impact on human health. Even at very low concentrations, particle pollution has been shown to have adverse health effects across many of the body’s major organ systems, resulting in illness and premature death. These include:

 
 

Respiratory illness

  • Respiratory irritation (coughing, wheezing), airway inflammation

  • Decreased lung function and lung growth

  • Lower respiratory infection (pneumonia)

  • Asthma

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

  • Lung cancer

Cardiovascular illness

  • Stroke

  • Heart disease

  • Hypertension

Other health risks

  • Low birth weight

  • Cataract

  • Nasopharyngeal cancer

  • Laryngeal cancer

  • Decreased cognitive ability

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Get the Data

Communicating the available data on how air pollution affects human health near you is a powerful advocacy tool. Use these data sources to find out how air quality effects health near you.

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State of the Global Air

The State of the Global Air (SOGA) reports on global, regional, and country-specific data on air quality and health. In addition to their annual report, national air quality and health burden data are available in plots, maps, and tables for ambient PM, ozone, household pollution, deaths and DALYs (disability-adjusted life years).


WHO Global Health Observatory: The World Health Organization’s (WHO) health observatory database details health statistics for over 1000 health-related indicators of progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 194 WHO member states.

Map Gallery: Search the map gallery to see how health burdens of air pollution in your country compares to others. Start by searching “air pollution” in keywords or selecting the “Environment and Health” Topic.

Outdoor air pollution death and disease burden: Explore the mortality rates and disease burdens of outdoor air pollution of countries using this interactive map and plot.

Outdoor Air Pollution Data Repository – Burden of Disease: Explore and download burden of disease data repository for outdoor air pollution in terms of deaths, DALYs (disability-adjusted life years), and YLLs (years of life lost).

Household air pollution death and disease burden: Explore the mortality rates and disease burdens of household air pollution of countries using this interactive map and plot.

Household Air Pollution Data Repository – Burden of Disease: Explore and download burden of disease data repository for outdoor air pollution in terms of deaths and DALYs.

Joint Effects of Air Pollution Data Repository: Explore and download the combined mortality data for outdoor and household air pollution by country or region.

 WHO Global Health Observatory for Public Health and Environment: Home for all WHO global health data on SDGs related to public health and the environment.

State of the Global Air: The State of the Global Air (SOGA) reports global, regional and country-specific data on air quality and health. In addition to the annual report, national air quality and health burden data are available in plots, maps and tables for ambient particulate matter, ozone, household pollution, deaths and DALYs (disability-adjusted life years).

GBD Compare: GBD (Global Burden of Disease) Compare is a highly interactive visualization tool developed by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Use this tool to explore and compare the different health risks and disease burdens imposed by air pollution within and between demographics, countries and regions.

WHO World Health Statistics Annual Report: WHO provides an annual report of health statistics for WHO member states monitoring health for the Sustainable Development Goals. The 2018 annual report’s section, “Mortality Due to Air Pollution” (p. 39), shows the mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution in each country.