International Programme on Chemical Safety

Air pollution

Regional Environmental Center

Indoor air pollution from solid fuel use and urban outdoor air pollution are estimated to be responsible for 3.1 million premature deaths world-wide every year and 3.2% of the global burden of disease. More than half of the health burden from air pollution is borne by people in developing countries.

Air pollutants have been linked to a range of adverse health effects, including respiratory infections, cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer. Reduction of air pollution levels will decrease the global burden of disease from these illnesses.

Pollution prevention requires policies on air quality and transport, air pollution control regulations in cities, emission controls in industry and promotion of clean, renewable energy sources. Interventions to reduce indoor air pollution include switching from home use of solid fuel to cleaner fuels, and efficient technology and ventilation in homes, schools and the working environment, and stopping smoking. Efforts to significantly reduce air pollutants will also help to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of global warming.

Short information documents for decision makers

Tools for action

Norms and guidance values

Educational material