Polluted air killed seven million human beings in 2012.
So concludes a new report from the World Health Organization, which also found that one-third of the deaths occurred in Asia.
Air pollution is now Earth’s most dangerous environmental threat to health, the WHO study says, and it accounts for one out of every eight deaths.
Emissions of pollution to the atmosphere raises the risk that individuals will suffer heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. About 40 percent of heart disease victims and about 40 percent of stroke victims die as a result of outdoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution, such as from smoke and soot, accounts for 34 percent of stroke deaths and 26 percent of ischemic heart disease fatalities.
Overall, WHO estimates that 4.3 million people died as a result of exposure to indoor air pollution, while 3.7 million individuals perished due to outdoor air pollution.
“Cleaning up the air we breathe prevents noncommunicable diseases as well as reduces disease risks among women and vulnerable groups, including children and the elderly,” Dr. Flavia Bustreo, a WHO assistant director with oversight of general family, women’s, and children’s health, said in a statement.
Image courtesy Wikimedia.
This mosaic image, put together from photographs obtained by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, shows the Moon’s north pole – an area larger than one-fourth of the United States.
Image courtesy NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Arizona State University
Saturn’s second-largest moon, Rhea, is shown in this image obtained by the Cassini spacecraft. Rhea is about 1,527 kilometers in diameter. Cassini took the photograph in full light on Sept. 10, 2013 from a distance of about 1.6 million kilometers. Courtesy NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory – California Institute of Technology, Space Science Institute.
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Britain’s Royal Society have published a very readable guide to understanding climate change. Interestingly, it starts by posing common questions and answering them in a clear and concise manner.
The primer would likely be helpful to educators, journalists, and those who are seeking increased knowledge about the human-caused phenomenon that is already affecting life on Earth.
Titled Climate Change: Evidence & Causes, the paper is available here.