A report in the Lancet has found, pollution has been linked to nine million deaths worldwide in 2015.It has been found that almost all of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries, where pollution could account for up to a quarter of deaths. The worst affected are Bangladesh and Somalia.
Brunei and Sweden had the lowest numbers of pollution-related deaths
The author of the study, Prof Philip Landrigan, of the Icahn School of Medicine said , “Pollution is much more than an environmental challenge – it is a profound and pervasive threat that affects many aspects of human health and wellbeing.”
The biggest risk factor, air pollution, contributed to 6.5 million premature deaths. This included pollution from outdoor sources, such as gases and particulate matter in the air, and in households, from burning wood or charcoal indoors.
The next largest risk factor, water pollution, accounted for 1.8 million deaths, while pollution in the workplace was linked to 800,000 deaths globally.About 92% of these deaths occurred in poorer countries, with the greatest impact felt in places undergoing rapid economic development such as India, which had the fifth highest level of pollution deaths, and China, which had the 16th.
Study author Karti Sandilya, from Pure Earth, a non-governmental organisation, said: “Pollution, poverty, poor health, and social injustice are deeply intertwined.”