Air quality

With an estimated 91 per cent of all people in the world regularly breathing polluted air, there is a growing body of evidence that air pollution is a major risk factor in developing lung disease. Currently an estimated seven million people die every year as a direct result of exposure to fine particles in polluted air.

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Air quality

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Tackling the impact of air pollution to help improve lung health is a strategic goal for The Union’s Department of Lung Health.

The Union, together with FIRS and partners, has launched Inspire: Health Advocates for Clean Air. Run in conjunction with The Union’s sister organisation Vital Strategies, Inspire: Health Advocates for Clean Air is a global coalition of clinicians, public health professionals, and organisations mobilised for clean air action, including the #breathelife2030 campaign.

At the WHO Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, The Union – as part of the FIRS – joined a ‘call for urgent action’ to reduce the seven million deaths a year caused by air pollution. The aim is that, by 2030, the deaths will have been reduced by two-thirds.

By engaging the world’s health community to address the adverse effects of unhealthy air, Inspire aligns with the World Health Organization’s road map for enhanced global action on air pollution.

Looking ahead, The Union’s Strategic Plan for Lung Health 2020 –2025, includes specific goals which focus on reducing the impact of air pollution. In particular:

GOAL 4: To reduce the health and socio-economic burden of communicable and noncommunicable lung disease among people across the life course living in poverty and other situations of disadvantage and inequity.

GOAL 5: To advocate for, and to assist others to advocate for, the policies and actions that contribute to improved lung health globally with a particular focus on people living in poverty and people living in low- and middle-income countries.