Pollution in 2019 claimed nine million lives


Nine million people worldwide died prematurely in 2019 due to pollution, according to a study published today in the journal The Lancet.

One in six premature deaths is related to pollution, mainly due to poor air quality.

Pollution and waste in the air, water and soil rarely kill directly, but are at the root of severe heart disease, tumors, respiratory problems and acute stomach upsets.

- The effects of pollution on health remain significantly greater than those of war, terrorism, malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, drugs and alcohol. Deaths from pollution are about the same as those caused by smoking, said Richard Fuller, chief coordinator of The Lancet's health department.

In 2019, 6,7 million deaths were due to air pollution, 1,4 million due to water pollution and 900.000 due to lead poisoning.

In 2000, industrial air pollution was the cause of death of about 2,9 million people, while in 2019 that number was 4,5 million, the study shows.

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