In 2015, almost one in six deaths was related to pollution in one of its forms – air, water, soil, chemical or occupational, according to a new report published in The Lancet
By far, air pollution is the largest contributor to early death, according to a new research developed by The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health. This specific form is linked to 6.5 million death in 2015 alone.
Water pollution is responsible for 1.8 million deaths, while workplace-related pollution, which led to 0.8 million deaths, represents the next largest risk.
The majority of casualties (92%) occur among people living in low and middle-income countries, while one in every four deaths in countries such as India, Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Madagascar and Kenya, who are trying to industrialize quick, could be related to filthy air, water or soil.
“Pollution disproportionately impacts the poor and the vulnerable,” said Dr. Olusoji Adeyi, a commissioner and director of the health, nutrition and population global practice at the World Bank Group.
“Children face the highest risks,” said Adeyi. “It is important to translate awareness into action at the local, national, and global levels.”
According to Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, who is co-leader of the commission, the problem stays in chemicals.
“There are thousands of chemicals out there and we know that people are exposed to them,” said Landrigan. “We just didn’t know enough about what chemicals are doing to people.”