The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that pollution levels in Qatar are beyond the safety limits.
A study on global air pollution levels and their effects on people conducted by the World Health Organization has shown that the air pollution levels in Qatar exceed what is considered safe, and might be harming the population’s health.
The study named Ambient air pollution: A global assessment of exposure and burden of disease, monitored the effects of outside pollution on the local residents of 103 countries, and returned with devastating results.
As for Qatar, it ranked second to the highest levels of PM2.5 particles globally, behind only Saudi Arabia. PM2.5, also known as atmospheric particulate matter, are pieces of microscopic solid or liquid matter suspended in the air. These particles can be both man-made and natural, and can have various effects on climate, rain and human health.
These particles are so tiny they can flow into a person’s respiratory system, and from there on cause severe health complications. In 2012, the WHO announced that one in every nine deaths globally was a result of air pollution.
Originating from fossil fuel combustion in likes of vehicles and plants, desert dust, and other fumes released into the atmosphere, they can cause in both short-term and chronic illnesses. The effects of PM2.5 include, coughing, shortness of breath, chronic bronchitis, reduced lung function, lung cancer and heart disease. Reports have even suggested that they could be one of the causes for Alzheimer’s disease.
The report predicted that 31 out of every 100,000 people in Qatar will die as a result of long-term exposure to pollution.
The reasons behind the high pollution levels in Qatar might be a direct result of the nation’s industrialization. Qatar is currently the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, which extraction emits all kinds of particles into the atmosphere.