4.2 million deaths worldwide in 2016 due to outdoor air pollution

In 2016, 91% of the world population was living in places where the WHO air quality guidelines levels were not met.

By reducing air pollution levels, countries can reduce the burden of disease from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma. 

Ambient (outdoor) air pollution was estimated to cause 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide in 2016; this mortality is due to exposure to small particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less in diameter which cause cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and cancers.

Policies and investements supporting cleaner transport, energy-efficient homes, power generation, industry and better municipal waste management would reduce key sources of outdoor air pollution.

There are many examples of successful policies that reduce air pollution including clean technologies for industries that reduce smokestack emissions.

In addition to outdoor air pollution, indoor smoke is a serious health risk for some 3 billion people who cook and heat their homes with biomass, kerosene fuels and coal.