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Pollution kills 9 million people a year globally: Study Updated: 2022-05-19 13:09:00 KST

An estimated nine million people die each year as a result of pollutionand the risk of toxic lead poisoning is also increasing.
That's according to a study of global mortality and pollution levels published in The Lancet Planetary Health journal on Tuesday.
According to data analysis by scientists, air pollution along with urbanization drove a 7-percent increase in pollution-related deaths from 2015 to 2019.
Chemical pollution also increased, with lead poisoning alone causing 9-hundred-thousand deaths a year.
A death toll of roughly 9 million per year means pollution is behind one out of every six deaths worldwide.
That's on par with smoking in terms of cause of deaths.
In comparison, COVID-19 has killed about 6.7 million people around the world so far.
The cost of deaths to the global economy amounts to some 4.6 trillion U.S. dollars per year.
The study found that the impact of pollution on global health remains "much greater than that of war, terrorism, malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, drugs and alcohol".
The study also looked at specific causes of pollution.
It separated traditional contaminants such as indoor smoke or sewage from modern pollutants, like heavy metals, agrochemicals and fossil fuel emissions.
According to the study, while deaths from traditional pollutants are declining globally, they still remain a major threat in Africa and other developing countries.

"As you might expect, the worst impacted are of course the lower, middle income countries and vulnerable communities. So the high income countries, U.S., Europe, we're seeing a lot of progress in those countries and conversely with low and middle income countries, we're seeing the deaths really rise in those countries."

Some of the countries most affected by pollution-related deaths, based on findings adjusted for population, were Chad, Central African Republic, and Niger.
Meanwhile, deaths caused by modern pollutants rose 66-percent since 2000.
Lee Shi-hoo, Arirang News
Reporter : slee@arirang.com
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