De gezondheidsvoordelen van het gevecht tegen klimaatverandering

LIMA – Regeringen zien klimaatverandering vaak als te duur om aan te pakken. Maar in feite is het juist te duur om deze niet aan te pakken. Daarom heeft de Wereldgezondheidsorganisatie (WHO) bijvoorbeeld het voorkomen van desastreuze klimaatveranderingen gelinkt aan de ‘onmiddellijke gezondheidsvoordelen en besparing op zorgkosten’ door vermindering van de luchtvervuiling.

De statistieken liegen er niet om. In 2012 veroorzaakte luchtvervuiling meer dan 7 miljoen vroegtijdige sterfgevallen (mondiaal gezien is dat 1 op 8), vergeleken met bijna 6 miljoen vroegtijdige doden door tabak.

Een van de grootste boosdoeners zijn de fijne deeltjes die PM2.5 heten, met een diameter van minder dan 2,5 micrometer. Ze richten schade aan door diep de longen binnen te dringen, wat bijdraagt aan onstekingen, kanker, en infecties aan de luchtwegen, of door in de bloedbaan terecht te komen, waar ze veranderingen in bloedvaten kunnen veroorzaken die hartaanvallen en beroertes tot gevolg hebben.

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