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Pollution main cause of premature deaths
October 29, 2017, 3:20 pm
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Diseases caused by pollution were responsible in 2015 for an estimated nine million premature deaths — 16 percent of all deaths worldwide, according to a report by researchers at Simon Fraser University in Canada.

In the first-ever global analysis of the impacts of air, water, soil and occupational pollution, and which explored the economic costs and social injustice of pollution, the report noted that "Pollution is the root of many diseases and disorders that plague humankind, and that it is entirely preventable.

In addition, the report provided solutions and recommendations on how the problem can be solved, including examples and case studies of pollution control success.

Some of the findings from the report include:

Pollution causes 16 percent of all deaths globally.

Diseases caused by pollution were responsible in 2015 for an estimated nine million premature deaths — 16 percent of all deaths worldwide. This number was three times more deaths than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined; and fifteen times more than all wars and other forms of violence.

Pollution kills more people than smoking, hunger and natural disasters.

In some countries, pollution accounts for one in four deaths.

Pollution disproportionately kills the poor and the vulnerable.

Nearly 92 percent of pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Within countries, pollution's toll is greatest in poor and marginalized communities.

Children face the highest risks because small exposures to chemicals in utero and in early childhood can result in lifelong disease and, disability, premature death, as well as reduced learning and earning potential.

Pollution is closely tied to climate change and biodiversity.

Fossil fuel combustion in higher-income countries and the burning of biomass in lower-income countries accounts for 85 percent of airborne particulate pollution.

Major emitters of carbon dioxide are coal-fired power plants, chemical producers, mining operations, and vehicles.

Accelerating the switch to cleaner sources of energy will reduce air pollution and improve human and planetary health.

 

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