Environmental News

Air Pollution Kills Over 3 Million People Worldwide Every Year

Scientists from around the globe published a study last Wednesday in the scientific journal Nature, claiming that air pollution alone is killing 3.3 million people a year worldwide, The Associated Press reported via US News.

The lead author of the study, atmospheric scientist Jos Lelieveld of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, attributed ozone and other toxic particles to these deaths, according to Live Science. “Strokes and heart attacks are responsible for nearly 75 percent of air pollution-related mortality,” he said, adding that a “little over 25 percent is related to respiratory disease and lung cancer.”

While the growing number of pollutants in the air is growing worldwide, nearly 75 percent of those deaths are happening in Asia. The report claims that the death toll from air pollution could double by 2050 if things stay the way they are. “If this growing premature mortality by air pollution is to be avoided,” Lelieveld said of this dramatic increase, “intensive air-quality-control measures will be needed, particularly in South and East Asia. Our study shows that it is particularly important to reduce pollution emissions from residential energy use in Asia.”

If this growing premature mortality by air pollution is to be avoided (…) intensive air-quality-control measures will be needed, particularly in South and East Asia. Our study shows that it is particularly important to reduce pollution emissions from residential energy use in Asia.

Perhaps what is most compelling about the study is the impact that farming has on the overall air pollution on the planet. According to Lelieveld, when fertilizer breaks down, ammonia gas is released into the air and combine with sulfates from power plants and car exhaust. This deadly combination creates soot particles capable of traveling in whatever direction the wind goes. “We were very surprised,” he said of this anomaly, “but in the end it makes sense.”

In the United States alone, almost 55,000 deaths in 2010 have been directly attributed to soot and smog, making it the seventh deadliest in the world.

Immortal News has been covering the impact of air pollution linking brain related disease, as well as the impact the recent wildfires have on heart disease.

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