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Environment: One-sixth of all premature deaths worldwide are related to pollution

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Pollution and waste released into the air, soil and water are responsible for the untimely deaths of nine million people in 2019.

In 2019, 6.7 million premature deaths were caused by air pollution and 1.4 million by water pollution.

In 2019, 6.7 million premature deaths were caused by air pollution and 1.4 million by water pollution.

AFP

Pollution was responsible for the untimely deaths of nine million people in 2019, according to a study published Wednesday in the “Lancet” magazine.

Four years after the first report, the situation has not changed: the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health has condemned pollution as one-sixth of the world’s premature deaths. Man-made pollutants and wastes released into the air, water and soil are rarely killed directly, but cause severe heart disease, cancer, respiratory problems or severe diarrhea.

“The health risks are enormous, and low- and middle-income countries are bearing the brunt of it,” said Richard Fuller, chief executive and co-director of the commission. They account for 92% of these deaths and most of the economic losses that result.

Deadly air pollution

“Attention and funding have increased only slightly since 2015, although public concern about pollution and its health effects is well documented,” he lamented, citing a statement. Premature deaths associated with the types of pollution associated with severe poverty are declining, while those associated with air pollution and chemical pollution are on the rise.

“The impact of pollution on health is even greater than the number of deaths caused by war, terrorism, malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, drug and alcohol and tobacco pollution,” it underlines. In 2019, 6.7 million premature deaths were caused by air pollution, 1.4 million by water pollution, and 900,000 by lead poisoning.

Richard Fuller told the AFP that “especially in these poorer countries the leading situation is deteriorating and accelerating in terms of death toll is terrible.” Exposure to the toxin can cause delays in children’s cognitive development.

‘Too bad’

While pollution-related mortality has been reduced within the home (related to fuel combustion or water or health problems), especially in Africa, “modern” forms of pollution were more prevalent twenty years ago. In 2000, the number of premature deaths related to ambient air pollution was 2.9 million, and in 2019 it was 4.5 million.

Particulate matter in the air and the release of ozone, lead, carcinogens in the background of his work, chemical pollution in the environment, especially in Asia. “If we fail to create in a clean and ecological way, what we are doing is very wrong,” Richard Fuller told AFP.

(AFP)

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