Study Says Pollution Continues to Claim the Lives of Millions of People Worldwide, Accounting for One in Every Six Deaths
Experts warn that pollution has massive health, social, and economic consequences and that climate change and wildlife loss are inextricably linked. Action to address one of the crises could aid in the resolution of the others and call for a rapid transition away from all fossil fuels and toward clean, renewable energy.
According to the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, pollution caused nine million deaths worldwide in 2019, a number that has remained unchanged since 2015.
According to the report, more than 90% of pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income nations, and most countries have done little to address the "enormous" public health crisis.
The study, which was published in The Lancet Planetary Health, highlighted that pollution is the world's leading cause of sickness and premature death and that climate change and wildlife loss are inextricably intertwined.
Researchers believe that addressing one of the problems could help with the others.
A rapid shift away from all fossil fuels, which release pollutants like particulate matter and nitrogen oxides and carbon emissions, when used for electricity in automobiles, boilers, or power plants, would help combat air pollution and limit climate change.
The number of deaths attributable to pollution associated with extreme poverty, such as filthy water, a lack of sanitation, and home air pollution from burning fuels like wood for cooking and heating, has decreased, experts said.
However, increases in mortality due to outdoor air pollution and harmful substances like lead poisoning counterbalance this.
They claim that indoor and outdoor air pollution causes more than 6.6 million premature deaths each year, with the number rising, and that lead and other toxins cause 1.8 million fatalities each year.
The report, which called for worldwide action, warned of the huge health, social, and economic consequences of pollution as a result of growing industrialisation, unregulated city development, population growth, and a lack of regulation.
Richard Fuller, the lead author of the study, said:
"Pollution prevention is largely overlooked in the international development agenda." Attention and funding have only minimally increased since 2015, despite well-documented increases in public concern about pollution and its health effects."
Source: Sky News