Air Pollution: What air are you breathing?

Air pollution kills an estimated 7 million people worldwide every year. World Health Organization (WHO) data shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. 

Ambient air pollution

There are 4.2 million deaths every year as a result of exposure to ambient (outdoor) air pollution. Ambient air pollution affects everyone−rich and poor, developed and developing countries, but it hits the hardest where the exposure is greatest, low and middle-income countries.

WHO estimates that worldwide ambient air pollution accounts for:

Indoor air pollution

3.8 million people a year die prematurely from illness attributable to the household air pollution caused by burning smoky fuels in living quarters for cooking, heating, lighting, or safety. Among these 3.8 million deaths:

What air are you breathing?


Over 80% of cities exceed WHO guidelines for safe air.

FIRS committed to air pollution advocacy

The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is committed to air pollution advocacy and action. FIRS has produced papers and press releases related to the impacts of air pollution on health:

Journal papers

Press releases