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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: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @08:14PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @08:14PM (#585761)

    If 9 million deaths is 16 percent of all deaths worldwide, that would be 56.250.000 deaths annually, and since there are approximately 7.6 billion people on the planet, those would, on average, live to be just over 135 years. Something's funky here.

    Also, the number of deaths they claim for various causes add up to 10.5 million. A study that can't add up a few numbers correctly doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

    Also, I'm guessing people who live in areas with high degrees of pollution would, on average, be poor (relatively), which means other socioeconomic factors (like a lack of healthcare and education) would contribute to lower life expectancy. I'm not saying some or even many of those deaths might be partially or wholly caused by pollution, but it is very difficult to exclude other variables that are probably strongly correlated with there regions (mostly developing countries).

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  • (Score: 2, Disagree) by frojack on Saturday October 21 2017, @08:39PM (1 child)

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 21 2017, @08:39PM (#585773) Journal

    56.250.000 deaths annually is about right, as even a cursory google search would have revealed.

    We have an excess of births over deaths. http://www.worldometers.info/ [worldometers.info]

    Since you didn't show your work I have no ides where you came up with 135 years.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @09:48PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @09:48PM (#585787)

      Different AC, but obviously they did: 7.6e9/56250000 = 135.111

      It has units of people*years/deaths. I guess since there is one death per person those cancel and you are left with years?