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Air Pollution

Air pollution, both indoors and outdoors, is a major environmental health problem affecting everyone in developed and developing countries alike. The 2005 WHO Air quality guidelines (AQGs) are designed to offer global guidance on reducing the health impacts of air pollution. The guidelines first produced in 19871 and updated in 19972 had a European scope. The new (2005) guidelines apply worldwide and are based on expert evaluation of current scientific evidence. They recommend revised limits for the concentration of selected air pollutants: particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), applicable across all WHO regions.

Key facts

  • Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health. By reducing air pollution levels, we can help countries reduce the global burden of disease from respiratory infections, heart disease, and lung cancer.
  • The lower the levels of air pollution in a city, the better respiratory (both long- and short-term), and cardiovascular health of the population will be.
  • Indoor air pollution is estimated to cause approximately 2 million premature deaths mostly in developing countries. Almost half of these deaths are due to pneumonia in children under 5 years of age.
  • Urban outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause 1.3 million deaths worldwide per year. Those living in middle-income countries disproportionately experience this burden.
  • Exposure to air pollutants is largely beyond the control of individuals and requires action by public authorities at the national, regional and even international levels
  • The WHO Air quality guidelines represent the most widely agreed and up-to-date assessment of health effects of air pollution, recommending targets for air quality at which the health risks are significantly reduced. The Guidelines indicate that by reducing particulate matter (PM10) pollution from 70 to 20 micrograms per cubic metre, we can cut air quality related deaths by around 15%.


Air Pollution in China (videos on

Hazardous Air Quality Forces Beijing Residents Indoors

Enormous clouds of pollution cover skies in Beijing, China, now deemed the Air-Pocalypse.

Beijing's air quality plummets again

A thick grey pall hangs over Beijing's Tiananmen Square on Monday, blocking out much of the sunlight.

Air pollution in China

Thick air pollution fog blankets Chinese capital

Beijing residents are reaching for their face masks

From The Earth Protect Blogs


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Why “Go Big or Go Home” Doesn’t Work

by Cindy Jennings

The pressure to “See the Big Picture”, “Go Big or Go Home”, and to “Think Bigger” is prevalent across both pop culture and business culture. No wonder it is difficult for us to feel okay about taking any kind of small action or step toward our BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). Anything small isn’t good enough.

Earth Protect Welcomes New Team Members


Morgan Rider

Morgan Rider is an environmental engineer with over 20 years experience helping public and private sector organizations manage environmental impacts, risks and costs.  She worked with companies such as BMW North America, Xerox, Sutter Home Wines, Nike, LSI Logic and Ball Aerospace helping to develop and implement strategies and programs to reduce their environmental footprint.

Dena New

Dena New is an International Master of Business Administration (IMBA) candidate at Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver.   Focusing her studies on finance and sustainability, she is passionate about the use of sustainable business practices in conserving our global future.




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