Pollution causing more deaths worldwide than war or smoking: Lancet

At least 9 million premature deaths were caused by diseases from toxic emissions

The Associated Press
Posted: Oct 20, 2017 7:51 AM ET
Last Updated: Oct 20, 2017 7:51 AM ET

Increasing pollution worldwide is proving deadlier than war, natural disasters or smoking, according to a new report in the Lancet medical journal. 

Based largely on 2015 data from the Global Burden of Disease, the report estimates at least nine million premature deaths — 16 per cent of all deaths worldwide — were caused by diseases from toxic exposure. That’s three times more deaths than from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, and 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence, it says.

While the highest death tolls were reported mostly in Asia, the highest rates of pollution-related mortality were in Africa.

Here are the countries with the highest number of pollution-related deaths and the highest pollution-related mortality rates.

  • India: 2,515,518 (24.5 per cent)
  • China: 1,838,251 (19.5 per cent)
  • Pakistan: 311,189 (21.9 per cent)
  • Bangladesh: 260,836 (26.6 per cent)
  • Nigeria: 257,093 (18.7 per cent)
  • Indonesia: 211,896 (13.5 per cent)
  • Russia: 172,536 (8.6 per cent)
  • United States: 155,155 (5.7 per cent)
  • Ethiopia: 129,450 (19.1 per cent)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: 123,942 (18 per cent)

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