Study says Air Pollution Kills over Two Million a Year


More than two million people are dying every year from the effects of air pollution according to a new study. More specifically, around 2.1 million deaths are caused by “anthropogenic increases of fine particulate matter” while an extra 470,000 are killed annually as a result of human caused increases in ozone pollution. East Asia is the worst affected area with researchers estimating more than a million people dying every year and India has the second highest number of deaths. To get some of these measures, the organizer of this study, Jason West, used a variety of global atmospheric chemistry climate models to estimate concentrations of PM2.5 (the anthropogenic chemical) and ozone pollutants. The fine particular matter is particularly dangerous to human health because it can get lodged deep in the lungs which can cause cancer and other respiratory diseases. The study also investigated the effects of climate change on worsening air pollution, comparing climate from the year 2000 with pre-industrial times. The overall results of this study is that in the future  climate change will get more severe and this could have even greater effects on air pollution. A recent report published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, found that the incidence of heart failure rises as air pollution is increases. Another recent study published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences found that the air pollution problems in Northern China could have been so severe that the overall life expectancy of the area lowered by 5 and a half years. If this is not a warning sign that we should change the way we treat our planet then I don’t know what is. When innocent lives are being lost at the cost of increased revenue at factories then we know that there is need for change. The only positive aspect is that startling statistics such as these are being real eased to the public and which could provoke public initiative to fight this problem.

Air Pollution

Alejandro Martinez-Oletta

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