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UN urges tighter rules to combat air pollution
United Nations human rights experts have called for strong, urgent actions by States, including legislation and enforcement of corporate accountability, to try to ensure that people around the world can enjoy the human right to live in environments free from contamination.
"Air pollution is a major threat to human rights worldwide and toxic air pollutants are associated with an increased risk of disease from stroke, heart disease, cancer and respiratory diseases, including asthma," the experts said.
The experts are Baskut Tuncak (Turkey), Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes; Dainius Pûras(Lithuania) is the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; John H Knox, Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
Estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that three million deaths each year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution, according to a message received here from Geneva on Friday.