The Health Benefits of Fighting Climate Change
Governments often see climate change as too costly to address. In fact, it is too costly to ignore, as the World Health Organization has shown by linking the prevention of disastrous climate change to immediate health benefits and savings from the reduction of air pollution.
LIMA – Governments often see climate change as too costly to address. In fact, it is too costly to ignore. That is why the World Health Organization (WHO), for example, has linked the prevention of disastrous climate change to “immediate health benefits and health cost savings” from the reduction of air pollution.
The statistics are grim. Air pollution caused more than seven million premature deaths – one in eight globally – in 2012, compared to nearly six million premature deaths from tobacco.
One of the biggest causes of harm are the fine particles called PM2.5, with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers. They wreak havoc by traveling deep into the lungs, contributing to inflammation, cancer, and respiratory infection, or by passing into the bloodstream, where they can trigger changes in blood vessels that cause heart attacks and strokes.
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