A new study has blamed pollution of all types in 9 million deaths a year worldwide, with the number of car, truck and industrial deaths rising by 55% since 2000.
This increase is offset by less pollution mortality from primitive furnaces indoors and water contaminated with human and animal waste, so the total number of deaths from pollution in 2019 is about the same as in 2015.
The United States is the only fully industrialized country in the top 10 states in terms of total deaths from environmental pollution, ranking 7th with 142,883 deaths due to pollution in 2019 sandwiched between Bangladesh and Ethiopia, according to a new study in magazine. Planetary Health Lancet. The study before Tuesday’s pandemic is based on calculations from the Global Burden of Disease database and the Institute for Health Indicators and Assessment in Seattle. India and China lead the world in the number of pollution deaths with nearly 2.4 million and nearly 2.2 million deaths per year, but these two countries also have the largest populations in the world.
In terms of mortality per capita, the United States ranks 31st out of 43.6 deaths from pollution per 100,000. Chad and the Central African Republic are the highest with about 300 deaths from pollution per 100,000, more than half of them are due to polluted water, while Brunei, Qatar and Iceland have the least pollution. death bets from 15 to 23 the world average is 117 pollution deaths per 100,000 people.
Pollution kills about as many people each year worldwide as cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke combined, the study said.
“9 million deaths is a large number of deaths,” said Philip Landrigan, director of the World Public Health Program and the Global Pollution Observatory at Boston College.
“The bad news is that it’s not diminishing,” Landrigan said. “We are succeeding in simple things, and we see that more complex things, and that is pollution of the surrounding (outdoor) air and chemical pollution, are still growing.”
This should not be the case, researchers say.
“These are preventable deaths. Each is an unnecessary death,” said Dr. Lynn Goldman, dean of the George Washington University School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study. She said the calculations make sense and if anything. was so conservative in that he attributed it to pollution that was real death toll probably higher.
The death certificates do not mention contamination. They list heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, other lung problems and diabetes that are “closely correlated” with pollution as a result of numerous epidemiological studies, Landrigan said. To then combine them with actual deaths, researchers are examining the number of deaths by cause, pollution weights based on various factors, and then sophisticated impact response calculations from large epidemiological studies based on thousands of people over decades of research, he said . . Just as scientists can say that cigarettes cause death from cancer and heart disease.
“This gun of information is a causal link,” Landrigan said. – That’s how we do it.
Five external experts in public health and air pollution, including Goldman, told the Associated Press that the study adheres to basic scientific thought. Dr. Rene Salas, an ambulance doctor and Harvard professor who was not involved in the study, said the American Heart Association more than a decade ago determined that exposure (fine particulate matter) similar to that produced by burning fossil fuels is the cause of heart disease and death ”.
“While people are focusing on lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, few recognize that removing air pollution is an important recipe for improving heart health,” Salas said.
Three-quarters of the total deaths from pollution came from air pollution and the vast majority of it is “a combination of pollution from stationary sources such as coal-fired power plants and steel mills, on the one hand, and mobile sources such as cars, trucks and buses. And it’s just a big global problem,” said Landrigan, a doctor. public health. “And it’s getting worse around the world as countries develop and cities grow.”
In New Delhi, India, the peak of air pollution occurs during the winter months, and last year the city had only two days when the air was not considered polluted. For the first time in four years the city had a day of clean air in the winter months.
The fact that air pollution remains the leading cause of death in South Asia reaffirms what is already known, but the increase in these deaths means that toxic emissions from vehicles and energy production are increasing, said Anumita Roichovdhuri, director of the Center for Science and Science. . Environment in New Delhi.
“These data are a reminder of what is wrong, but also that it is an opportunity to fix it,” Roychaudhuri said.
Deaths from pollution are on the rise in the poorest areas, experts say.
“This problem is worst in areas of the world where the population is densest (such as Asia) and where financial and government resources to address pollution are limited and stretched to address many issues, including health care and diet, and pollution.” , – said Dan Greenbaum, president of the Institute of Health Impact, who was not involved in the study.
In 2000, industrial air pollution killed about 2.9 million people a year worldwide. In 2015, it was up to 4.2 million, and in 2019 – 4.5 million, the study said. The study found that air pollution in households, mostly from inefficient primitive furnaces, and air pollution killed 6.7 million people in 2019.
Lead pollution – some of the lead additives that have been banned from petrol in every country in the world, as well as from old paint, recycling batteries and other production – kills 900,000 people a year, while water pollution causes 1.4 million deaths in year Occupational pollution adds another 870,000 deaths, the study said.
In the United States, about 20,000 people a year die from hypertension caused by lead pollution, heart and kidney disease, mostly from occupational hazards, Landrigan said. Lead and asbestos are major chemical occupational hazards in America, and they kill about 65,000 people a year from pollution, he said. The study says the number air pollution deaths in the United States in 2019 were 60,229, far more than the number of deaths American roads, which last year peaked in 16 years at nearly 43,000.
Modern types of pollution are growing in most countries, especially in developing countries, but decreased from 2000 to 2019 in the United States, the European Union and Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s figures cannot be fully explained and can be a reporting issue, said study co-author Richard Fuller, founder of the Global Alliance for Health and Pollution and president of Pure Earth, a nonprofit that works on pollution cleanup programs. in about a dozen countries.
The authors of the study made eight recommendations to reduce pollution mortality, emphasizing the need for better monitoring, better reporting and stronger government systems that regulate industry and cars.
“We absolutely know how to solve each of these problems,” Fuller said. “What is missing is political will.”
Pollution and health: updating progress, Planetary Health Lancet (2022). www.thelancet.com/commissions/pollution-and-health
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