Air Pollution Causes Millions of Deaths Every Year


More than 5 million people around the world die from air pollution every year . Most of the deaths occur in Asia, especially India and China. In China , about 1.6 million die of polluted air every year, in India the number is about 1.3 million. 85% of the world's population live in areas where air pollution is higher than normal.

Most of the air pollution comes from factories, traffic and burning fossil fuels to produce electricity. In large Asian cities like Beijing or Delhi, air pollution can reach 10 times the normal rate on any given day.

Breathing in polluted air is dangerous to a person's health. Small particles emitted into the air can lead to heart diseases, lung cancer and strokes. Health experts claim that deaths resulting from polluted air are higher than  from malnutrition or obesityScientists warn that the number of deaths will continue to rise if nothing is done to fight air pollution.

In developed countries laws have been passed to make air cleaner. In large cities air quality is monitored around the clock. In the developing world, on the other hand, governments have not done enough to protect the population from pollution.

Especially in China, where the country's population is ageing, more and more older people are in danger of becoming ill due to air pollution. In many areas coal is used to cook and heat. In India, indoor pollution is widespread because people cook with wood or cow dung.


Health officials argue that moving to greener energy would have a positive impact on our health. Turning to renewable energy and using electric cars would undoubtedly help make our air cleaner.



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  • age = to become older
  • air pollution = making air dirty
  • argue = to say that something is true
  • breathe = to take air into your body with your mouth or nose
  • cancer = illness in which cells of your body grow in an uncontrolled way
  • cow dung = waste produced by cows after they have eaten
  • developed country = country that is rich and industrialised
  • developing world = poor countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America
  • disease = illness
  • due to = because of
  • electricity = form of energy that moves through cables and wires; we use it for lighting and heating and to make machines work.
  • emit = send out
  • especially = above all
  • fossil fuel = energy that was formed through dead plants and animals millions of years ago; coal, gas and oil are fossil fuels
  • government = the people who rule a country
  • green energy = energy that is produced through  fossil fuels, but sources that can be used over and over again
  • impact = effect
  • law = the rules that a country has
  • malnutrition = to become ill because you do not have enough food or not the right kind of food to eat
  • monitor = watch
  • obesity = being overweight
  • occur = happen
  • official = person in a high position in an organisation
  • particle = an extremely small piece of something
  • rate = level
  • renewable = something that replaces itself naturally and can be used over and over again
  • result from = something that happens because of something else
  • rise = go up
  • scientist = a person who is trained inn science and works in a lab
  • stroke = illness in which a blood vessel in the brain breaks ; it may lead to speaking problems or being unable to move parts of your body
  • traffic = cars, trucks and buses that move along the roads
  • undoubtedly = very likely, almost certainly
  • widespread = very common and popular