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2 million deaths per year caused by air pollution

By Paul Wallis     Jul 13, 2013 in Health
Sydney - A new study has found that an estimated 2.1 million deaths per year are caused by fine particulate matter. These materials are released into the atmosphere as a direct result of air pollution.
Science Daily:
The study, which has been published today, 12 July, in IOP Publishing's journal Environmental Research Letters, estimates that around 470,000 people die each year because of human-caused increases in ozone.
It also estimates that around 2.1 million deaths are caused each year by human-caused increases in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) tiny particles suspended in the air that can penetrate deep into the lungs, causing cancer and other respiratory disease.
Figures like these have been around for a while. These are actually low figures compared to some estimates. In 2012, the World Health Organisation published figures indicating a combination of indoor and outdoor pollution totalling more than 3,000,000 deaths per year.
The Huffington Post:
A 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) study found that 3.5 million people die early annually from indoor air pollution and 3.3 million from outdoor air pollution. Toxic particles shorten lives by causing diseases such as pneumonia or cancer.
…The data, published as part of a global review of causes of death in December 2012, were an upwards revision of previous figures of 1.9 million premature deaths caused by household pollution a year and 1.3 million outdoors, she said.
The new study also found that local air pollution models vary significantly, and that a single model for the world is inappropriate. Heat and humidity were also found to be significant factors affecting the composition of pollutants. According to the WHO study, most of the victims in the Third World are women and children.
(To put these figures in perspective, the number of Americans killed in the entire Vietnam War was 50,000. Air pollution kills approximately that many people per week, whichever study you consider to be accurate.)
More about Air pollution, Who, particulate matter, Vietnam war, Environmental Research Letters
 
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