$1 MILLION (Prize amount to be confirmed. Announcement expected for next year)
Air pollution is the presence of substances in the atmosphere that are harmful to the health of humans and other living beings, or cause damage to the climate or to materials. There are different types of air pollutants, such as gases (such as ammonia, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, methane and chlorofluorocarbons), particulates (both organic and inorganic), and biological molecules. Air pollution may cause diseases, allergies and even death to humans; it may also cause harm to other living organisms such as animals and food crops, and may damage the natural or built environment. Both human activity and natural processes can generate air pollution.
Air pollution is a significant risk factor for a number of pollution-related diseases, including respiratory infections, heart disease, COPD, stroke and lung cancer.
Overall, air pollution causes the deaths of around 7 million people worldwide each year, and is the world’s largest single environmental health risk.
Our advanced economy is generating air pollution at not acceptable levels.