More than 90% of humans breathe dangerously contaminated air, according to the World Health Organization.
Citizens of Finland, however, are not among them.
Finland has the cleanest air in the world, a comprehensive analysis by the WHO found.
That means that Finns are largely spared from the debilitating illnesses caused by air pollution.
More than 7 million people are prematurely killed each year due to air pollution, the WHO reports. As fine particles from pollutants fill the air, they penetrate the lungs and cause “stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections, including pneumonia,” WHO notes.
The report says that the major sources of pollution in the world are coal-fired power plants, transportation and agriculture sectors, deforestation, and waste burning, among other sources.
All across the world, levels of fine particulate matter — indicating the presence of sulfate, nitrates, black carbon, and other contaminants — exceed levels deemed safe by WHO.
The easiest way to reduce air pollution is to limit these practices.
Finland has such clean air because of strong environmental regulations. The government invests in renewable energy, protects forests and lakes, and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles.
The country is also well on its way to reach the goals it set under the Paris Climate Agreement.
Clean air and leading the global fight against climate change — it looks like Finns can sit back and take a deep breath.
Global Citizen campaigns on the United Nations’ Global Goals, which call on countries to provide clean air for their citizens. You can take action on this issue here.