Summary of the new report:

  • Chronic respiratory disease is the 5th top cause of death from environmental risks
  • 30% of COPD deaths are attributable to household air pollution, 11% to workplace and 8% to ambient air pollution
  • Growing evidence that early life exposure to environmental risk factors increases NCD risk throughout an individual’s lifetime
  • Having safe and healthy work places could prevent 1 million deaths from NCDs each year
  • Disease prevention strategies in the community include:
    • In the home
  • Use of clean or cleaner fuels
  • Implementation of the WHO indoor air quality guidelines
  • Better ventilation
    • More physical activity
  • Better urban planning
  • Access to sports facilities
  • School and workplace based programmes
    • Reduce exposure to allergens
  • Interventions to reduce house dust mite and moulds and dampness levels

The Lancet Commission on pollution and health:

  • All pollution is the biggest risk factor for global deaths: diseases caused by pollution were responsible for 9 million premature deaths in 2015
  • Of pollution-related deaths, air pollution remains the biggest risk factor
  • Smoking is the second biggest risk factor (7 million deaths compared to AIDS 1.2 million, tuberculosis 1.1 million, and malaria 0.7 million)
  • In the absence of aggressive control, ambient air pollution is projected by 2060 to cause between 6 million and 9 million deaths per year.
  • Aim of commission report is to raise awareness and mobilise resources and political will.
  • Six recommendations made:
    • Make pollution prevention a priority both nationally and internationally–integrate into all country and city planning
    • Increase and focus funding for controlling pollution levels using technology
    • Ensure that there are systems in place to monitor the impact of pollution on health
    • Bring together partners from across sectors to work together for pollution control
    • Ensure that pollution control is at the core of plans for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases
    • Research all aspects of pollution and pollution control

The Lancet countdown on health and climate change

  • Follow-up on the Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change in 2015
  • 4 key messages from the 40 indicators in the Lancet Commission, including:
    • Climate change is unequivocally affecting the health of populations across the global –disproportionately those in LMICs
    • The response to climate change over the last 25 years has been too slow–often moving in the wrong direction
    • Healthcare professionals have an important role to play in driving change in the field and demonstrating the health benefits of action
    • The last 5 years have seen an improvement in the rate of action, particularly around the 10 recommendations made in the Lancet Commission.

This demonstrates the importance of FRESH AIR to demonstrate through implementation science that health-led change is possible. FRESH AIR calls on the healthcare community to improve awareness of the impact of smoke and smoking on lung health and overall health at individual, community and political levels through research, education and advocacy.

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