Study Links Pollution to 16 Percent of All Deaths Worldwide
In 2015, health problems caused by pollution were responsible for 9 million premature deaths worldwide, according to a new report published in The Lancet. According to researchers at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, this is the first comprehensive, global analysis of the impacts of air, water, soil, and occupational pollution.
The report also suggests that, in some countries, pollution contributes to one in four deaths. Overall, pollution causes three times more deaths than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined; 15 times more than all wars and other forms of violence; and kills more people than hunger, natural disasters, and smoking.
According to the researchers, about 92 percent of pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of pollution – exposure in utero and in early childhood can cause a number of health problems, including lifelong disease, disability, and premature death.