Pollution causes 7 million deaths a year worldwide

According to a report of Heal effects institute in the United States, the pollution of the air causes the deaths of 7 million people a year. Outdoor air pollution is the sixth leading cause of early death in the world in the face of alcohol, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity, all ages and gender. According to the report, in 2016, it caused the death of 4.3 million deaths worldwide. China and India account for more than half of the deaths due to this pollution.

A very unequal concentration

95% of the world's population exudes toxic air. The main cause of this deadly pollution is the emission of fine particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, more commonly known as PM2.5. The concentration of fine particles in relation to the population exceeds the recommendations of WHO the World Organization of Health . It recommends not to exceed 10 μg / m 3 (micrograms per cubic meter of air). According to the report, nearly 60% of the world's population lives in areas where fine particles even exceed the WHO interim air quality target of 35 micrograms per cubic meter of air.

This particle concentration is very uneven. Thus, the continents most concerned are Africa and Asia. In Niger, for example, the concentration of fine particles exceeds 240 micrograms per cubic meter of air. In contrast, Australia, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden have a concentration of fine particles that does not exceed 8 micrograms per cubic meter of air. This makes them the countries least affected by external pollution. In France, the concentration of fine particles remains stable. Since 2005 it has been fixed at 12 micrograms.

In total, since 2010, the concentration of fine particles in the air relative to the global population has increased by 10%. And the effects of this fine particles on health are as multiple as alarming. Thus, they can be the cause of heart disease, cardiovascular accidents, lung cancer or respiratory accidents.

Indoor Air Pollution

The report also addresses the issue of indoor air pollution. In 2016, it caused the deaths of 2.6 million people. It is the eighth leading cause of death in the world. Indoor air pollution is due to the use of solid fuels such as manure or wood, to heat or cook. Thus, the researchers specify that " people living in a house using solid fuels can cope with a PM2.5 concentration twenty times higher than the WHO recommendation not to exceed 10 micrograms per meter air cube ".

But the report points out that the number of households using this type of fuel has dropped significantly, from 3.6 billion in 1990 to 2.4 billion today. This is due to the growing awareness of populations of the risks involved in their use.

Natural disasters: a bitter year for insurers

The costs of natural disasters have never been higher than in 2017. This finding is the result of a study published on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, by the Swiss reinsurer Swiss Re . In 2016, the economic losses caused by natural disasters and man-made disasters (such as fire s or industrial accidents) amounted to $ 337 billion (€ 273 billion) ), said the Swiss group in its Sigma study.

Harvey, Irma and Maria alone generated 217 billion economic losses

The reinsurer has therefore revised its forecasts up for 2017. In December, the Swiss group had already made an initial estimate, estimating economic losses at $ 306 billion and costs for insurers at $ 136 billion. He had therefore specified that these first figures were to be adjusted according to the extent of damage related, in particular, to the hurricane s. Thus, losses borne by insurers after disasters reached $ 144 billion, making it the most expensive year for reinsurers to date. Swiss Re has been carrying out an annual assessment of the costs of natural disasters for 50 years

The year 2017 was marked by numerous natural disasters, from hurricanes to fires, to which Debbie cyclone Australia and earthquakes in Mexico. The three hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which fell on the Caribbean and the Southeast of the United States, alone generated 217 billion economic losses and 92 billion costs for insurers. Fire costs, for their part, reached a record level for insurers who covered $ 14 billion in claims for damages, with fires that spread in California, Canada but also Portugal.

The year 2017 was a year rich in pollen

The allergic to pollen probably realized it. The year 2017 was rich in production of pollen of grasses, according to a report written by three associations . On the occasion of the French Allergy Day, which takes place on March 20, 2018, the Federation of Air Quality Monitoring Associations ( Atmo France ), the National Network for Surveillance aerobiological ( RNSA ) and the Association of sentinel pollinariums of France drew up their first annual report. They monitored the main allergenic pollen from trees (cypress, birch, ash …) and herbaceous plants (ragweed and grasses). The situation of each can vary, but in a general way, "their quantities grow, whatever the regions", affirms Dr Beatrice Benabes, allergist and referent of Atmo France on the pollens. She also noted "a tendency to precocity": pollen are emitted earlier and earlier.

Less birch pollen, more grass pollen

The "pollen quantities of the year 2017 are generally lower than the previous year for cypress, birch and ambrosia, but superior for grasses "summarizes the document. The main areas of infestation, such as the Rhone Valley, have seen their quantities stabilize in recent years, despite a significant peak in 2006. However, pollen is constantly increasing in neighboring regions.

Birch produces a highly allergenic pollen. Its production usually peaks in March-April. © AFP / Archives / Philippe Huguen

In 2017, the mild temperatures made the trees blossom early, with the first pollens of birch at the end of March in Île de France or in Bourgogne Franche-Comté. Ambrosia pollen was found in the wild more than a week ahead of annual averages. On the contrary, the concentration in the air of grass pollens has grown rather late – in May – but gradually until July-August.

Associations measured the amount of pollen in each region through two devices: sentinel pollinariums and pollen sensors. The first, as their name indicates, are allergy pollen plants closely monitored by scientists. They record the date of beginning and end of the pollination to inform possible alerts allergy . Pollen sensors are positioned on the roofs of buildings. They function as vacuum cleaners and allow to know the particles present in the ambient air.

Allergy Alert

Pollen allergy can cause more or serious symptoms, sneezing crisis at asthma attacks . © GARO / Phanie / AFP

The disease can manifest in several ways depending on the degree of sensitivity, the level of exposure and the affected organs: sneezing, scratching, sometimes clogging or running, eyes red, itchy or watery, possibly in association with wheezing, coughing, eczema flare, contact urticaria, general fatigue and difficulty concentrating

Grass pollen are the ones that cause the most allergies in France. In order to reduce the presence of allergenic pollen in the air, these associations recommend, for example, to diversify ornamental plants. This will avoid ending up with specimens of one species that all pollinate at the same time. Another tip a little more radical: the size of plants, especially bud stage. The authors further specify that "information on the allergenic nature of pollen will soon be available to the consumer before the purchase of the ornamental plants concerned."

"It is necessary that the monitoring of pollen intensifies, and the observation goes to the forecast alert Dr. Benabes. Because being able to start treatment in advance means "fewer emergency consultations, hospitalizations for asthma, consequent treatments and lower cost for the community " For people with allergies, there is a participative network of networking with volunteer botanists: Pollin'air .

Lunar New Year Celebration Begins with Prayer for Peace and Prosperity

Chinese and Taiwanese celebrated the start of the Lunar New Year.

Many people celebrate this Year Dog at the Old Temple, praying for good luck in the coming year.

Meanwhile in Taipei, residents pray for health, peace and luck at the beginning of this Lunar New Year at the Longshan Temple.

The first day of the year is seen as the most important and praying to the gods today is a tradition not forgotten by most Chinese citizens. [lt]

Chinese New Year Lunar New Year, 4 Killed, 5 Injured

An explosion at a kiosk of fireworks fireworks in southwest China killed four people and five others wounded on the eve of Chinese New Year celebrations, authorities said Friday.

Tonghai county news agency in Yunnan province said The explosion occurred Thursday around 11:00 pm. The cause of the explosion is under investigation.

 An enchanted giant dog marks the coming of the Dog Year shown as part of the Lunar New Year celebration at Chenghuang Temple in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, February 14, 2018.

An enchanted giant dog marks the coming The Year of Dogs is featured as part of Chinese New Year celebrations at Chenghuang Temple in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, February 14, 2018.

Friday marks the start of China's most important traditional holiday, where tens of millions of people travel in the vast country to gather with the family.

Also Read: Chinese New Year Celebration Begins with Prayer for Peace and Welfare

Fireworks generally form a major part of a number celebrations, although some authorities took action against the action for safety reasons and reduced air pollution.

A number of towns ti Beijing and Shanghai are typically hustle and bustle with fireworks, this year has calmed down.

Fireworks play an important role for most rural economies and some accidents are common due to unsafe storage and transport systems. [mg/lt]