Global study: 65% air pollution deaths occur in Asia

December 19, 2012

Up to a whopping 65 percent of deaths from air pollution occur in Asia, according to a new global study.

The global study also showed pollution is one of the top 10 killers in the world, according to a report by the Asian Scientist.

“Based on the latest tally, air pollution causes 3.2 million deaths worldwide, a whopping 300 percent increase from the 800,000 estimate in 2000. The new estimates of particulate air pollution are based on ground-level measurements, satellite remote sensing, and global chemical transport models to capture population exposure,” it said.

In South Asia, air pollution was ranked as the sixth most dangerous killer, just below blood pressure, tobacco smoking, indoor air pollution, poor intake of fruits, and diabetes.

On the other hand, The Center for Science and Environment (CSE) based in New Delhi, India, said outdoor air pollution is a leveler that makes rich and poor both vulnerable.

“This GBD [global burden of disease] count on air pollution and its health risks must trigger urgent, aggressive, and most stringent action in India to curb air pollution to protect public health. India cannot afford to enhance health risk at a time when much of its economic growth and motorization are yet to happen,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, CSE executive director of research and advocacy and head of its air pollution unit.

The findings of the new GBD, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010 were released at a public event at the Royal Society of London on Friday.

Friday’s launch coincided with the publication in The Lancet of seven original research articles and eight commentaries describing the findings.

The latest GBD results stemmed from more than 450 global experts and partner institutions including the World Health Organization, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Tokyo.

Air pollution deaths

GBD study estimated that over 2.1 million premature deaths and 52 million years of healthy life lost in 2010 are due to fine particle air pollution in Asia.

It said 1.2 million deaths occurred in East Asia which is in throes of high level of economic growth and motorization, and 712,000 deaths occurred in South Asia which is at the take-off stage.

Such figures are much higher than the combined toll of 400,000 in EU 27, Eastern Europe, and Russia, Asian Scientist said.

Source: GMA News Online

Category: Health alert

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