Air Pollution Crisis: 6.7 Million Lives Lost Prematurely, Stakeholders Demand Urgent Action 

Distressed over the  alarming statistics of 6.7 million premature deaths annually due to air pollution, stakeholders in the environment sector have sounded a clarion call for a safer and cleaner world. 

They emphasize that air pollution now stands as one of the most dire threats to human health, impacting a staggering 99 percent of the global population and endangering 2.4 billion people with perilous levels of pollution.

Leading experts, including representatives from the United Nations and other organizations, united under the banner of Professional Women Engineers, are calling for concerted efforts, advocacy, and unwavering commitment from individuals, communities, and governments to combat this pressing menace.

These experts emphasize that every stride taken to enhance air quality represents a pivotal move towards addressing the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.

This resounding call to action unfolded during an event commemorating the International Day of Clean Air (IDCA), an annual observance on September 7. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres delivered a powerful message:

 “Our air is a common good, and a common responsibility. Let us work together to clean it up, protect our health, and leave a healthy planet for generations to come. We call upon everyone, from governments and corporations to civil society and individuals to ensure this.”

Experts underscored that air pollution remains the most significant environmental health hazard of our era. 

They caution that exposure to polluted air can lead to life-threatening conditions, including stroke, heart disease, respiratory ailments, cancer, and more.

The Lagos chapter of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) added its voice to the urgent appeal, urging Nigerians to reflect on the paramount importance of clean air and its profound influence on lives, communities, and the planet.

Mrs. Atinuke Owolabi, Chairman of the APWEN Lagos chapter, emphasized, “The quality of the air we breathe directly affects our health, our environment, and the well-being of future generations.

” As engineers, our profession empowers us to design, innovate, and implement solutions that can help combat air pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create a healthier, more sustainable world. 

“It is our responsibility to drive change and advocate for cleaner technologies and practices in our workplaces, industries, and communities.”

The resounding call to action from these experts and organizations serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need to address air pollution and protect the health and well-being of people worldwide.

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