Status of air pollution in Botswana and significance to air quality and human health
PublisherPure Earth (formerly Blacksmith Institute), www.pureearth.org
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Background. Air pollution is an important issue in developed and industrialized countries. The most common sources of air pollution are anthropogenic activities such as construction dust, vehicular emissions and mining. For low- and middle-income countries, biomass burning and indoor heating are the leading sources of air pollution. As more of the world undergoes development and human populations increase, industrialization is also increasing, along with the potential for air pollution. Objectives. This article reviews the status of air pollution to raise awareness of air quality and human health in Botswana. Discussion. Since independence, Botswana has experienced one of the highest economic development growth rates in the world. These changes have occurred as a result of economic growth and resource utilization associated with increased industrialization. However, there is growing worldwide concern about the effect and impact of pollution due to industrial growth. Botswana is ranked amongst the most polluted countries with serious air pollution, despite a population of just over 2 million. Conclusions. Rapid development and increased urbanization have had a major environmental impact around the world. This increased growth has the potential to lead to air quality degradation. Significant health threats are posed by industrial and vehicular emissions, especially in urban and peri-urban areas where the population is most concentrated. It is important that the linkage between air pollution and health effects is fully examined across all scales of life, especially in developing countries. In addition, programs should be devised to educate the public about the pollution impacts on health.