Air pollution kills about 7 million people worldwide every year, according to a report from the World Health Organisation.
The agency said air pollution caused about one in eight deaths and had now become the single biggest environmental health risk.
“Adhering to them could save millions of lives,” it further added.
The UN agency issued air quality guidelines in 2005, which had a significant impact on pollution abatement policies worldwide.
However, the WHO said in the 16 years since, a much stronger body of evidence had emerged, showing how air pollution impacts on health.
“The accumulated evidence is sufficient to justify actions to reduce population exposure to key air pollutants, not only in particular countries or regions but on a global scale,” the organisation said.
Coal Plants Kill Thousands in EU
Air pollution from coal-fired power plants in the western Balkans led to thousands of deaths in the European Union.
Over the past three years, the coal plants were responsible for 19,000 deaths, half of them are within the EU.
Coal-fired power stations on the European Union’s southeastern border are accused of breaching legally-binding limits on harmful emissions.
Furthermore, Europe is facing soaring gas and electricity prices. It damps the incentive to turn off less-efficient and more environmentally-harmful means of production.
The EU imports 8% of the electricity produced by the coal plants in the Western Balkans.