Policy News

If No Action is Taken, Annual Deaths Due to Air Pollution Could Double by 2050

Published: Friday, 02 October 2015 16:00
Written by STEPS
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According to the World Health Organization, there are about 3.5 million premature deaths annually due to air pollution. A study published in Nature states that if measures are not taken to control and decrease cur- rent air pollution levels, this number could double to almost 6.8 million premature deaths. This study marked progress towards identifying how major sources of air pollution play a role in this global issue; this could prove useful for policymakers as they shape regulations according to these issues. Conventional perception of air pollution involves industry and automobile emissions. However, other major pollutants include agricultural activities and residential energy use, which is in fact the deadliest source of pollution. The greatest numbers of deaths are likely to occur in India and China, where it has been more difficult to regulate clean energy technologies. The findings of the study are conditional, however. This projection is accurate assuming that all air pollution particles have the same relative toxicity. In addition, the particles could impact some diseases differently than others, potentially altering the outcome. However, based on the most updated epidemiological equations, premature deaths due to air pollution will skyrocket if policymakers do not effectively control emissions. See:http://news.sciencemag.org/environment/2015/09/unless-nations-act-air-pollution-deaths-will-double-2050-study-concludes