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posted by martyb on Saturday October 21 2017, @07:02PM   Printer-friendly
from the I'm-gonna-stay-in-my-basement dept.

A Lancet Commission report has found that pollution is now the leading cause of disease and death worldwide:

Exposure to polluted air, water and soil caused nine million premature deaths in 2015, according to a report published Thursday in The Lancet.

The causes of death vary — cancer, lung disease, heart disease. The report links them to pollution, drawing upon previous studies that show how pollution is tied to a wider range of diseases than previously thought.

Those studies observed populations exposed to pollutants and compared them to people not exposed. The studies have shown that pollution can be an important cause of diseases — many of them potentially fatal — including asthma, cancer, neurodevelopmental disorders, birth defects in children, heart disease, stroke and lung disease.

The nine million figure adds up to 16 percent of all deaths worldwide, killing three times more people than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. Pollution is responsible for 15 times more deaths than wars and all other forms of violence. "No country is unaffected," the report notes. But 92 percent of those deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries.

Air pollution deaths in Southeast Asia are expected to double by 2050.

The Lancet Commission on pollution and health (DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32345-0) (DX)

Also at The Guardian and Human Rights Watch.

Related: Pollution responsible for quarter of deaths of young children, says WHO


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  • (Score: 2, Troll) by Runaway1956 on Saturday October 21 2017, @07:31PM (3 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 21 2017, @07:31PM (#585747) Journal

    Premature deaths. When is a death not premature? Old dude in a nearby village died at 95, and his eulogy said that he died prematurely. Who is in charge of deciding that a death is premature? Is there some premature death official in every county? Maybe he shares offices with the coroner?

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday October 21 2017, @07:41PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Saturday October 21 2017, @07:41PM (#585748) Journal

    If only there were a branch of mathematics that could help answer these questions...

    inb4 pee-value anon comes in and takes a big shit on the study
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    • (Score: 0, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @08:04PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @08:04PM (#585758)

      It's not a study, its a review article. Its kind of funny they don't define "premature death" anywhere (what populations were used to determine the average age, etc), so it isn't even clear what they are talking about.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @07:45PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @07:45PM (#585750)

    There was a link in TFS:

    Death that occurs before the average age of death in a certain population. In the United States, the average age of death is about 75 years.

    https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms?cdrid=748385 [cancer.gov]

    So that village must have an average age of death greater than 95 years.

    Seriously though, this is yet another poorly thought out medical term that leads to severe problems. Using this definition, the only way to stop the epidemic of premature death is for everyone to die at the exact same age. At that point I'm sure they would change it to "before or at the average age".