Air pollution

The global threat of air pollution and its impact on patient care” programme

6 to 10 September 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) listed air pollution and climate change as one of the top ten threats to global health. According to WHO, air pollution is the greatest environment risk to health, with nine out of 10 people breathing in polluted air every day.1-3

There is, therefore, a clear need for pharmacists not only to respond to and manage respiratory illnesses and symptoms, but also to support proactive respiratory wellness.

The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and The Clean Breathing Institute (TCBI) initiated a collaboration in 2019 to discuss and support the role that pharmacists may play in mitigating the impact of air pollution on health and providing counselling and care to patients in this area.  

7 September is the United Nations’ International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies. To mark this occasion, FIP is launching the call to action “Mobilising pharmacists across our communities to mitigate the impact of air pollution on health”.

We invite to read this call to action, available in the following languages, and to share it with your colleagues.


Based on this call to action, we encourage you to commit to key action points put together in a pledge that you can find below. Please support this pledge by sharing it via your social media accounts throughout this week, and inspiring others to take the same commitment. Download the pledge from HERE.

Download & Share on social media!

The call to action was developed by a group of experts who met in May and June at a roundtable organised in collaboration with The Clean Breathing Institute. You may read the roundtable report here.

Further information can be found in the report, “Mitigating the impact of air pollution on health: The role of community pharmacists”, published in October 2020. This report presents the findings of an international survey on the awareness and roles of community pharmacists related to air pollution and respiratory health. Responses were received from 62 countries and territories.


1. World Health Organization. Ten threats to global health in 2019. [Online].; 2019 [cited 2020 October 3. Available from:

2. World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa. Air pollution – Fact sheet. [Online].; 2020 [cited 2020 October 6. Available from:

3. World Health Organization. 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air, but more countries are taking action. [Online].; 2018 [cited 2020 October 3. Available from:

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