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Pollution Study: It's World's Biggest Killer, Threat to Survival

Pollution Study: It's World's Biggest Killer, Threat to Survival

Indian men play cricket amid heavy smog in New Delhi on Oct. 20, 2017. New Delhi was shrouded in a thick blanket of toxic smog a day after millions of Indians lit firecrackers to mark the Diwali Festival. (Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 20 October 2017 02:38 PM

A new study says global pollution is the world’s biggest killer and that it threatens human survival.

According to the study published Thursday in medical journal The Lancet, pollution is responsible for 9 million premature deaths around the world, with more than 90 percent of those deaths occurring in low- to middle-income nations such as India, China, Somalia, and Kenya, USA Today reported.

The number includes 6.5 million deaths due to air pollution and 1.8 million from water pollution, and the total number is 15 times higher than all the deaths from wars around the world.

The study also noted the numbers used might actually be conservative, and that some who died may have been impacted by more than one type of pollution.

In the study, India had the most pollution-related deaths, followed by China. Somalia had the highest rate of deaths from pollution, compared to its total population.

The study was compiled by more than 40 researchers in governments and universities around the world and funded by the United Nations, European Union, and the U.S.

Although it painted a concerning picture about pollution, the study also noted high-income and some middle-income countries have eliminated most of their pollution successfully, and that health has improved as a result. 

The U.S., it claimed, received $30 in benefits for every dollar it spent to combat pollution since 1970, based on EPA research it reviewed, The Associated Press reported. Other countries might not have the same benefits, the study cautioned, but argued that fixing the problems would likely not be the monetary drain on any nation’s economy that has been widely believed. 

“Controlling pollution would help us address many other problems, from climate change to malnutrition. The linkages can’t be ignored,” lead environmental specialist at the World Bank Ernesto Sanchez Triana told the AP. 

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A new study says global pollution is the world's biggest killer and that it threatens human survival.
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2017-38-20
Friday, 20 October 2017 02:38 PM
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