Southern Asians unaware of deadly health risks from polluted air

Nine out of 10 people breathe polluted air, according to the WHO, a problem that affects more cities in Asia than anywhere else in the world. (AFP)
Updated 28 March 2019

Southern Asians unaware of deadly health risks from polluted air

  • Air pollution kills about 7 million people prematurely each year, according to the World Health Organization
  • About 1.5 million of those deaths are in South and Southeast Asia

KUALA LUMPUR: Most people in South and Southeast Asia do not know about the diverse causes and long-term health risks of air pollution, a problem that kills 1.5 million people in those regions each year, researchers warned on Thursday.
A study by Vital Strategies, a public health advisory group, analyzed more than half a million news articles and social media posts on air pollution in 11 countries across southern Asia between 2015 and 2018.
“We see a lot of air pollution content in relation to the environment, climate change or deforestation, but not a lot that links it to health,” said Aanchal Mehta, the report’s lead author.
Air pollution kills about 7 million people prematurely each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.5 million of those deaths in South and Southeast Asia.
Nine out of 10 people breathe polluted air, according to the WHO, a problem that affects more cities in Asia than anywhere else in the world.
The health impact of air pollution is linked to strokes, lung cancer and heart disease — and is now equal to the effects of smoking tobacco, health experts say.
As well as news articles, the Vital Strategies researchers analyzed social media posts, blogs and online forums.
The study found that the public debate on air pollution largely focused on vehicle emissions, which resulted in policymakers looking only at one cause of the problem.
But in much of South and Southeast Asia, those emissions are not the biggest or only source of air pollution, said Mehta.
Other major causes, which vary from country to country, include coal power plants, construction, festival fireworks, forest clearing, and burning of crops, firewood and waste.
Most of the news and social media posts highlighted the more immediate effects of air pollution, like itchy eyes and coughing, rather than the risks from chronic exposure.
“This points to the fact that people don’t attribute or understand that air pollution has longer-term health impacts,” Singapore-based Mehta told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Emotionally-charged content, such as on children’s health, gained the most engagement, which could help in the development of strategies to tackle air pollution, researchers noted.
More government awareness campaigns were needed on the chronic risks linked to air pollution, Mehta said.
“There is a dire need to look at long-term, practical and effective solutions to the issue of air pollution,” Oswar Mungkasa, Jakarta’s deputy governor for spatial planning and environment, said in a statement on the report.


What We Are Eating Today: Cleans and Glow

Updated 25 December 2020

What We Are Eating Today: Cleans and Glow

Cleans and Glow is a Saudi store specialized in offering vegan, gluten, and refined sugar-free food.
It provides over 180 products, ranging from the largest selection of juices in the Kingdom to salads, soups, oat jars, oatmeals, vegan meals, and snacks.
The entire store is based on giving your body a break from animal protein while providing you with a boost of vitamins and minerals through plant-based eating in order to help you lose weight and feel great. The store uses only vegan protein from legumes like peas, lentils, and beans as a substitute for animal protein.
Cleans and Glow is also a raw cold-pressed juicery that offers over 50 different types of juices including greens, roots, citrus, vegan milk, water mixes, and fermented tea juices and smoothies.
If you are thinking of kick-starting a healthier lifestyle, check out the different diet programs offered by Cleans and Glow that will help you to engage in healthier eating habits including plant-based vegan reset programs, weight loss, cleansing, skin detox, as well as intermittent fasting programs.
The store is especially proud of its immunity shots, which are a concentrated dose of juices, herbs, and oils of different flavors including turmeric and goji berries.
It helps to target different ailments and it is filled with antioxidants.
The meals on offer vary from Asian, American, Italian to Mideastern dishes.
For more information visit: https://cleanseandglow.com/

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