Pollution is bigger killer than disease in developing world, causing 8.4 million deaths per year

July 21, 2015

A study by the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP) found that:

"Pollution, not disease, is the biggest killer in the developing world, taking the lives of more than 8.4 million people each year, a new analysis shows. That’s almost three times the deaths caused by malaria and fourteen times those caused by HIV/AIDs" (Leahy).

 

"The GAHP analysis integrates new data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and others to determine that 7.4 million deaths were due to pollution sources from air, water, sanitation and hygiene. An additional one million deaths were due to toxic chemical and industrial wastes flowing into air, water, soil and food, from small and medium-sized producers in poor countries" (Leahy).

 

From the World Health Organization News Release:
- 4.3 million deaths in 2012 were linked to indoor air pollution and 3.7 million deaths were a result of outdoor air pollution (WHO).
- As most people are exposed to both indoor and outdoor pollution, the total number of deaths is estimated to be at 7 million (WHO).

 

"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" (WHO).

 

Stephen Leahy, “In Developing World, Pollution Kills More Than Disease,” Inter Press Service, June 13, 2014, accessed June 18, 2014, http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/06/in-developing-world-pollution-kills-more-....
World Health Organization, “7 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution,” News release (Geneva, March 25, 2014), accessed June 18, 2014, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en/.

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