WHO tightens air quality recommendations to face lethal pollution

Geneva, Sep 22 (EFE).- The World Health Organization on Wednesday issued its new air quality recommendations, the toughest since 2005, in a bid to prevent the death of nearly 7 million people a year due to pollution.

The new guidelines lowered the bar of the maximum recommended amount of the most harmful matter in the air (particulates, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide).

WHO revised downwards the danger level of suspended particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns (PM 2.5) from 25 micrograms per cubic meter of air in a day to 15 micrograms.

The recommendation for particles with a higher diameter (PM 10) has been lowered from 50 to 45 micrograms per cubic meter of air in a day.

These two types of suspended particulars, usually coming from the burning of fossil fuels, are considered dangerous to health as they can penetrate the lungs.

The smaller ones are even more harmful, as they can reach the bloodstream, according to the WHO.

Some 90 percent of the deaths caused by PM 2.5 can be avoided by following the new guidelines which are not in principle mandatory by law. EFE


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