Air pollution is top urban health concern for global youth

A survey of young people in cities across the world has revealed the top health fear is the toxic atmosphere they breathe.

Research by the organisation’s World Vision and Global Alliance Cities 4 Children has painted a stark picture of just how concerned the planet’s youth now is about the state of the air. 

white car parked near building during daytime

Taking into account feedback from 300 young people in 35 towns and cities across the globe, it was found that air pollution is now the number one environment and health worry among respondents. Other widespread fears came in the form of health service provision, malnutrition, water access and garbage pollution. 

When it came to urban health solutions, those involved in the survey clearly pointed to increasing awareness the leading approach to improve outcomes, followed by Youth Empowerment Programmes, Community Cleaning Campaigns, Regreening, and Waste Management. Despite being the top cause for concern, Improving Air Quality was one of least popular suggestions from the solutions on offer, with Clean Energy Solutions fairing only slightly better. You can read the full report here.

‘Children and young people face many problems in urban areas, especially fragile areas like settlements and slums. But this survey once again shows that environmental issues are at the forefront of their minds,’ said Aline Rahbany, World Vision’s Urban Programming Technical Director. ‘Air pollution came top, but proper waste and garbage management, and other issues affected by climate change like access to sufficient, clean water also scored highly.’ 

The latest issue of Air Quality News magazine was published last week, and includes a special report on the health implications of air pollution and a toxic atmosphere.

Image: Nikalas Liniger



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