Air Pollution

We can't stop breathing, but we can do something about the quality of our air.

Often you can’t even see it, but air pollution is everywhere. With every breath, you are probably sucking in tiny particles that attack your lungs, heart and brain. World Environment Day 2019 is issuing a call to action to combat this global crisis.

Chosen by this year’s host, China, the theme of World Environment Day 2019 invites us all to consider how we can change our everyday lives to reduce the amount of air pollution we produce, and thwart its contribution to global warming and its effects on our own health.

air pollution

We are faced with an urgent task. Nine out of ten people worldwide are exposed to levels of air pollutants that exceed World Health Organization safe levels. Around seven million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution with about four million of these deaths occurring in Asia-Pacific. Air pollution causes a host of other problems, including illness and lower IQs. It doesn’t just impact human health and economic growth. Many of the pollutants also cause global warming.

Air pollution is preventable, but we need everyone on board – from individuals and organizations to private companies and governments. If you have an event planned, register it here for global visibility under World Environment Day or read on to get involved. 

What you can do

This year’s World Environment Day provides an opportunity for each of us to combat air pollution around the world. And you don’t have to wait until 5 June to act.

There are so many things that we can do: from cycling or walking to work and back, to recycling non-organic trash, to pressuring local authorities to improve green spaces in our cities. Here are some other ideas:

  • Turn off lights and electronics not in use.
  • Check efficiency ratings for home heating systems and cookstoves to choose models that save money and protect health.
  • Never burn trash, as this contributes directly to air pollution.

What else can we do to tackle this problem? Share your ideas on social media using the hashtag #worldenvironmentday.

Test your knowledge on air pollution by taking our quizzes. If you find that you are not as clued-up as you need to be, check out our infographics page to learn everything you need to know in just a few minutes.

Sign up here to receive updates in the run-up to World Environment Day 2019, including our live blog that will cover the day’s activities.

Air pollution is preventable, and the solutions are there. Let’s show the world that the time to act is now