Bid to reduce lethal air pollution in the home launched at UN

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A woman cooks in a kitchen with dim light and limited ventilation. UN Photo/Logan Abassi

The World Health Organisation (WHO) today called for a reduction in lethal air pollution in people's homes in a bid to prevent millions of deaths every year.

The UN agency published its recommendations on emissions while underlining the dangers of burning fuels in the home, such as unprocessed coal and kerosene.

Medics have linked the practice to life-threatening diseases responsible for 4.3 million deaths a year.

The problem affects low to middle-income countries the worst, WHO told journalists in Geneva.

Dr Maria Neira, who's leading the campaign, explained the health dangers:

"The diseases carried by exposure to air pollution are stroke, ischemic heart diseases, you will have chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, pneumonia and lung cancer, so we are talking about a very, very serious burden for our health."

In its guidelines, WHO urges governments to promote less harmful fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas, biogas, natural gas and ethanol, or electricity.

But nearly three billion people worldwide still lack access to these energy sources for cooking, heating and lighting, the agency added.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration: 1"16

 

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