Saturday March 23, 2019

Reality check: EU spends 1/10th of GDP to deal with health problems caused by air pollution

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

According to a major piece of information released by a UN study, Europe spent around US$ 1.6 trillion as the economic cost of 600,000 premature deaths and diseases caused by air pollution in 2010.

The study published by the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is the first assessment of the economic burden on countries due to deaths and diseases caused by indoor and outdoor air pollution.

As per statistics, premature deaths cost $1.4 trillion while the cost for treatment of diseases add an extra 10% to raise the figure to $1.6 trillion. The report also found that out of the 53 countries assessed, 10 countries spent 20% or more of their GDP to deal with the problem.

The study also found that 90% of the people in the region of study were exposed to fine particulate matter that are above WHO’s air quality guidelines. This led to 482,000 premature deaths in 2012 from heart and respiratory diseases, blood vessel conditions and strokes, and lung cancer and 117,200 premature deaths due to indoor pollution.

“Curbing the health effects of air pollution pays dividends. The evidence we have provides decision-makers across the whole of government with a compelling reason to act. If different sectors come together on this, we not only save more lives but also achieve results that are worth astounding amounts of money,” says Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe.

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Tech Giant Apple to Offer Support to Media Literacy in US, Europe

Cook acknowledged the work being done by these organisations in empowering young people to be active and engaged citizens

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Customers walk past an Apple logo inside of an Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York, Aug. 1, 2018. VOA

Apple has announced a new initiative in support of non-profit organisations in the US and Europe that offer un-biased, independent media literacy programmes.

To advance their efforts in empowering young minds, Apple will support the US-based News Literacy Project (NLP) and Common Sense organisations, along with the Italy-based Osservatorio Permanente Giovani-Editori, the company said in a blog-post on Wednesday.

“News literacy is vital to sustaining a free press and thriving democracy, and we are proud to be collaborating with organisations on the front lines of this effort,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

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A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

Cook acknowledged the work being done by these organisations in empowering young people to be active and engaged citizens.

“Apple News is committed to presenting quality journalism from trusted sources,” said Lauren Kern, Editor-In-Chief of Apple News.

Also Read- Social Media Giant Facebook to Curb Discrimination in Housing, Job Ads

“We’re thrilled that Apple is supporting these important organizations to train the next generation on how to seek out accurate and reliable information amid an increasingly complicated news landscape.” (IANS)