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WHO Ranks Air Pollution as World's Number-One Environmental Health Problem

A new report by the World Health Organization ranks air pollution as the world's number-one environmental health problem, linking it to more than seven million deaths in 2012.

The group's findings, released in March, paint a worrisome picture in which there is little sanctuary from the perils of contaminated air: Indoor air pollution was found to account for more than half of all deaths. And little progress seems to have been made: The 7 million figure -- accounting for one death in eight globally -- was more than double WHO's last estimate in 2008.

Deaths linked to poor indoor air quality -- put at 4.3 million for 2012 -- are especially troubling, as individuals spend up to 90 percent of their day indoors, and without sufficient safeguards, like proper air filtration, harmful particles in outdoor air can easily seep inside. While the report cites indoor cooking over coal, wood, and dung stoves as a chief source of indoor air pollution, particles from automobile exhaust and industrial operations are also contributing to the risks -- and the toll. Last year, an arm of WHO, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), officially designated air pollution a Group 1 human carcinogen. But the new report notes that pollution-related cancer isn't the only fear.

"The risks from air pollution are now far greater than previously thought or understood, particularly for heart disease and strokes," said Maria Neira, director of WHO's department for public health, environmental, and social determinants of health. "Few risks have a greater impact on global health today than air pollution."

As WHO's report demonstrates, the scope and consequences of indoor air pollution are just beginning to be understood. But already solutions to improve indoor air quality are in place. Camfil -- the world's leading provider of clean air solutions -- has leveraged its half dozen global research centers to develop air filters that keep the indoor environment safe, and keep health risks at bay. These include products expressly designed for urban environments, such as Camfil's City-Flo XL, CityCarb, City-Flo, and CitySorb air filters, all of which can be installed in existing air handling units without requiring modifications to the AHUs.

Camfil air filters -- across all of its product lines -- are built for both performance and sustainability. Their innovative designs enable them to maintain peak efficiency longer than more traditionally designed air filters, which means they do a better job keeping dangerous particles out of indoor environments while using less energy to do so. That means less frequent change outs, less waste, and lower lifetime costs.

Air pollution is a problem, inside and out. But with today's sophisticated clean air products, it is a problem that can be tackled -- more successfully, and more cost effectively, than one might expect.

The world leader in air filtration systems, Camfil provides clean air solutions for hospitals, hotels, office buildings, educational institutions, and pharmaceutical and biotech companies. We provide the tools to achieve sustainability, maintain high air quality, and reduce airborne infections -- all while lowering total cost of ownership. Camfil customers go green without ever sacrificing performance. For more information about Camfil hvac air filters, visit us camfil catalog at or call us toll-free at 888.599.6620.

Media Contact: Lynne Laake, Camfil, 888.599.6620, [email protected]

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