Pollution kills millions, accounts for 1/6 of all deaths worldwide
According to the Health and Pollution Commission, the scientific journal The Lancet, pollution was responsible for 9 million deaths worldwide in 2019 and this number has remained unchanged since 2015.
More than 90% of pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. And most countries have done little to deal with this “huge” public health problem.
The report, published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health, warned that pollution is the world’s greatest risk factor for disease and premature death, and climate change and wildlife loss. gradually become closely related to each other.
Taking action to solve one problem can help cope with other crises, the researchers say.
Rapid transition away from all fossil fuels, which emit pollutants such as particulate matter and nitrous oxide as well as carbon emissions when burned to power vehicles, boilers or power plants, switching to clean renewable energy will help solve air pollution as well as slow down this process.
Experts have found that declines in pollution deaths are linked to extreme poverty such as unclean water, lack of sanitation and household air pollution from burning fuels such as firewood to cooking and heating.
However, the number of deaths due to outdoor air pollution and harmful chemicals such as lead poisoning has increased.
There are more than 6.6 million premature deaths from both indoor and outdoor air pollution and the number is growing, the report said, while lead and other chemicals are responsible for 1.8. million deaths every year.
Richard Fuller, the study’s lead author, said: “Prevention of pollution has barely gone unnoticed on the international development agenda. Attention and funding has increased only minimally since last year. 2015, despite a worrying increase in pollution and its impact on people’s health”.
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