Air Pollution Kills More Than 3 Million People Every Year, Study Finds
Air Pollution Kills More Than 3 Million People Every Year, Study Finds

Air Pollution Kills More Than 3 Million People Every Year, Study Finds

A new research reveals that outdoor air pollution may cause more than 3 million premature deaths per year worldwide. About 75 percent of those deaths occur in Asia, according to scientists, and the biggest killers are fires that people use for heating their homes and cooking.

In the US, traffic pollution made the biggest contribution to global death rates while in Europe, Russia and eastern Asia, agricultural sources had the greatest impact.

Outdoor air pollution includes ozone, a toxic form of oxygen, and tiny sooty particles that lodge in the lungs.

The study, published in the journal Nature, was conducted by combining a global atmospheric chemistry model with population data and health statistics.

Scientists predict that premature mortality from air pollution could double by 2050 with a death toll of 6.6 million lives per year.

The authors, led by Professor Jos Lelieveld, from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, German, concluded: “Our results suggest that if the projected increase in mortality attributable to air pollution is to be avoided, intensive air quality control measures will be needed, particularly in South and East Asia.

“The poorly characterised uncertainty about the relative toxicity of various classes of particles such as sulphates, nitrates, organics, crustal materials, black carbon, and especially smoke from biomass combustion, limits unambiguous attribution of sources. Nevertheless, our study suggests that emissions from residential energy use should be considered in air pollution control strategies and, if all fine particles are equally toxic, the reduction of agricultural emissions would improve air quality.”

A related paper in the journal Nature Geoscience reported that around 400 to 1,700 premature deaths per year might have been avoided in recent years as a result of large reductions in deforestation-related fires in the Brazilian Amazon.


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    One comment

    1. The story the whole world is missing…the second most common reason for hospital admission is respiratory illness (behind childbirth) and many of these admissions are prompted by air pollution. The kicker, in most developed countries these patients are treated in part by the same outdoor air compressed and delivered through piping systems labeled “Medical Air” without any testing to prove the filtration is working and the product is truly fit for therapy.

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