We all know that air pollution is bad for us and our environment, but it's now been confirmed as the number one threat to human health across the globe.
It's been linked directly to early brain development problems among other frighteningly severe detrimental health effects in humans.
What's even more frightening is the fact that we usually don't really know what we're breathing in at any given time. Air pollution is a silent, invisible assassin slowly wearing us down before it eventually kills us.
It is estimated that there are seven million premature deaths every year that can be directly linked to pollution in our air.
Not only that, but according to this report, between 7,500 and 52,000 in the US die to exposure to air pollutants in their workplaces, specifically small particles within power plant emissions. Every year!
Researchers from Columbia and Yale Universities have recently published the new 2018 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), which measures 24 performance indicators against 180 countries around the world and ranks them across 10 issue categories.
The whole point of the EPI is to improve environmental health and the health and well-being of our planets ecosystem, by publishing an overview of where all countries stand in relation to global, and individual, pollution and environmental sustainability.
The ten countries with the highest EPI Rankings aren't really surprising, starting with Switzerland at number 1 followed by France, Denmark, Malta, Sweden, the UK, Luxembourg, Austria, Ireland and Iceland.
The United States landed at number 27 with good rankings for air and sanitation quality but frightening low rankings for emissions of greenhouse gases and large-scale deforestation.
The worst ten countries, starting with the lowest, are Burundi, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Nepal, Madagascar, Haiti, Lesotho, Niger, the Central African Republic and Angola.
These countries are said to be lacking in support for a variety of environmental sustainability problems. With air pollution being the number one worry for public health.
But, these long-term research projects and studies can help us tackle these problems in the future.
As well as pointing out where countries are struggling with environmental health and sustainability, these studies show us when our efforts are succeeding and allow us to make safer policies depending on the results.
If you're worried that you may be exposed to dangerous air pollutants in the work place, and you're not sure what you can do to reduce that exposure you can take the new COSHH Risk Assessor Certification™.