The updated WHO air quality guidelines are a big step forward but not a complete solution

Yaguang Wei and Joel Schwartz from Harvard’s Department of Environmental Health argue that while WHO’s tightened air quality guidelines are beneficial, more action is needed to reduce air pollution. Studies show fine particulate matter (PM) 2.5 is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and meeting the new guidelines could reduce hospital admissions by 23% in the US. Only six countries currently meet these guidelines, highlighting the need for global action. Continuous monitoring, stricter emissions controls, renewable energy use, and public awareness campaigns are essential steps in tackling air pollution for improved public health and environmental sustainability.

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