Pollution Poses an Existential Threat: Report by Lancet

Moreover, the number of annual deaths due to pollution has not been found to be decreased since 2015.

Impact Of Pollution

Pollution is found to be still responsible for a staggering 9 million premature deaths per year – one in six deaths worldwide — an estimated 45 million deaths from 2015 through 2019.

Overall, the 9 million pollution-related deaths each year are nearly 50% greater than all the deaths worldwide to date due to COVID-19 (about 6.247 million as of May 6, 2022, according to WHO) and are greater than all deaths in 2019 due to war and terrorism, AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and drug/alcohol use combined as stated by the report.

Despite ongoing efforts by committed individuals, groups, and national governments, the updated report shows little progress has been made against pollution in most low and middle-income countries (wealthy countries have shown a steady decrease in pollution deaths).

Moreover, the modern pollution — the result of industrialization (especially due to lead) and urbanization remains the leading cause of mortality, thereby requiring urgent interventions.

Need for Intervention

The report thereby necessitates the need for adequate quality and integrated surveillance to document the progress of ambient air quality management and weigh the risks posed by the silent epidemic of pollution, , especially among vulnerable populations.

“A globally supported, formal science-policy interface can inform interventions, influence research and guide aid funding. In addition, a massive, rapid transition away from all fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy can be an effective strategy for preventing pollution and slowing climate change, thus achieving a double benefit for planetary health,” as concluded the report.

Source: Medindia

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