Health topics

Air pollution


Air pollution is a major environmental health problem in the Western Pacific Region. Urban air pollution brought about by rapid urbanization and industrialization accounts for about 360 000 deaths each year. The increasing number of factories and motor vehicles, which release harmful gases and small particles that can penetrate the lungs and trigger respiratory problems, is a major contributing factor to urban air pollution. Indoor air pollution, which comes mainly from domestic cooking and heating with solid fuels such as wood, coal, dung, and agricultural residues, is responsible for nearly 500 000 deaths each year in the Region.