7 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution

In new estimates released today, WHO reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died– one in eight of total global deaths–as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives.

New estimates
In particular, the new data reveal a stronger link between both indoor and outdoor air pollution exposure and cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and ischaemic heart disease, as well as between air pollution and cancer. This is in addition to air pollution’s role in the development of respiratory diseases, including acute respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.

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Source: World Health Organization
25 March 2014, Geneva