One in six deaths linked to pollution worldwide

October 22, 2017 - 3:07 pm

(NEW YORK) -- At least 9 million deaths a year can be attributed to pollution, according to a new report published in The Lancet.

The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health found that toxic air, water, soil, chemical and workplaces killed one in six people worldwide in 2015.

This is because of the role pollution plays in non-infectious diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and stroke.

Air pollution was by far the largest contributor to early death, accounting for 6.5 million fatalities -- over two-thirds of the total. Water pollution, linked to 1.8 million deaths, came in second.

Most of these pollution-related deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries. In countries undergoing rapid industrialization, such as India, Pakistan and China, pollution accounted for nearly a quarter of all deaths.

In the United States, over 5.8 percent of deaths -- approximately 155,000 -- were linked to pollution.

The poor -- even in wealthy countries – were disproportionately affected.

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