Increased outdoor air pollution and lead poisoning have been responsible for nearly 9 million deaths all over the world annually since 2015, undermining modest progress in combating pollution around the world, a team of scientists said.
According to scientists’ analysis of data on global death rates and pollution levels, air pollution from industrial processes and urbanization contributed to a 7% increase in pollution-related deaths between 2015 and 2019.
In contrast climate change leads to spikes in infections with malaria and HIV.
“We don’t focus much on environmental pollution,” said Richard Fuller, co-author of the study and president of the global non-profit Pure Earth.
Estimates in a previous version of the study published in 2017, showed that the death toll due to pollution amounted to about 9 million annually, or one in six deaths worldwide.
The costs to the global economy have also increased to 4.6 trillion annually.