According to a statement from the WHO, roughly around 7 million people die prematurely from air pollution worldwide every year. Mainly from diseases such as stroke, lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory infections, including pneumonia.
According to a new study — by the European Society of Cardiology — published in Cardiovascular Research in early March 2020, PM2.5 pollution kills more people worldwide than wars, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and smoking.4
Other recent studies have linked air pollution to increased risk for miscarriage5, up to 3.4 million preterm births6, mental illness7, cognitive impairment in children8, and a ‘huge’ reduction in intelligence9.
See other latest air pollution research findings at the bottom of this page.
What Are The Causes of Air Pollution in Ghana?
Ambient air pollution in Ghana is characterized by natural and anthropogenic sources.
Climate variability, rapid urbanization, and trends in population growth in urban areas are having a tremendous impact on air quality in Ghana.
Major sources of outdoor air pollution in Ghana include:
Toxic exhaust fumes from road traffic — emissions from old and rickety trotros (local minibus taxis), taxis, and trucks.
Open burning of residential trash due to poor municipal waste management.
Resuspended dust. Ghanaian roads are mostly unpaved and dusty.
Indoor air pollution kills just as many people as outdoor air pollution. Biomass-fueled cookstoves are the main culprits in many developing countries, including Ghana.
According to the State of Global Air Report 201910, more than 70% of people in Ghana use solid fuels such as charcoal and wood to cook food in open fires and inefficient cookstoves.
Check out this Crucial Article & Documentary
Urban Outcasts: Children of Agbogbloshie
See hazardous child labour at Agbogbloshie and a missing child found through this article.
How Does IQAir Collects Data?
IQAir AirVisual uses data collected from ground-based monitoring stations that measure levels of PM2.5, ultrafine particles of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, which are known to pose serious risks to human health.
The data are collected from government monitoring stations as well as validated monitors operated by private individuals and organizations.
The report did not include measurements for gaseous air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and ground-level ozone.
What Does IQAir AirVisual’s 2019 World Air Quality Report Say About Air Pollution in Ghana?
According to the IQAir AirVisual’s 2019 World Air Quality Report, Ghana averaged PM2.5 concentration of 30.3 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) during the period of the study. This exceeds the WHO recommended annual guideline of 10 µg/m3.
Ghana’s annual mean concentrations of PM2.5 in 2016 was 31.1 µg/m3, more than 3 times above the safe limits recommended by the WHO. You can see this in the WHO most recent global air pollution database.
The World Bank widget above — with some missing data values — shows Ghana’s PM2.5 mean annual exposure between 1990 and 2017. The annual mean concentrations of 35 µg/m3 (2017) above is 3 times above the safe limits recommended by the WHO.
Ghana’s dirty air is the 21st worst in the world, according to the IQAir 2019 report. Worse than Iran and Saudi Arabia, both renowned for airborne particulate matter from dust storms11. Severe dust storms frequently blanket certain parts of Iran and Saudi Arabia, making air quality worse.
Nicknamed after Ghana's current president, the 8 years old 'Akufo-Addo' is engaged in hazardous child labour on the margins of Accra, Ghana's capital city. See how he navigates the fringes of Agbogbloshie, an area once listed alongside Chernobyl and Dzershinsk.
There were only 4 installed IQAir monitors in Ghana, all in the Greater Accra Region. The monitors were installed by private individuals and organizations.
“The participation of many groups and citizens who operate their own air quality monitors and have made this data publicly available, has increased data coverage significantly. If it were not for these valuable contributions, there would be no publicly available data in Angola, the Bahamas, Cambodia, DR Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Latvia, Nigeria, Syria, and Ukraine, ” the report acknowledged.
The participation of many groups and citizens who operate their own air quality monitors and have made this data publicly available, has increased data coverage significantly. If it were not for these valuable contributions, there would be no publicly available data in Angola, the Bahamas, Cambodia, DR Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Latvia, Nigeria, Syria, and Ukraine.
IQAir visual’s 2019 world air quality report
Ghana’s EPA does some air quality monitoring — only in some parts of the Greater Accra Region — but their data are not publicly accessible.
Ghana’s EPA does not issue air pollution alerts even when poor air quality is expected to impact health.
Read more about Ghana’s air pollution problems here:
A new study has linked living near a highway (road traffic pollution) to dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis. The study was published in the journal Environmental Health.
Hi, Muntaka Chasant here. I'm, among many other things, an entrepreneur and a social documentary photographer. I'm here on the front line of urban struggle — only with my wits and cameras — capturing key moments, collecting untold stories, and helping to forge new paths.