It’s not AIDS or diabetes but air pollution that has killed maximum number of people in 2012.
A new report of World Health Organization (WHO) has found that as many as 7 million people have died of polluted air in 2012. The figures have crossed the number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS or diabetes.
Air pollution and cardiovascular disease such as stroke and heart ailments and respiratory diseases are strongly related to each other, according to the report.
The Geneva-based WHO said in a report on Tuesday that one in eight deaths worldwide are due to breathing tainted air. This has made it the world’s largest environmental health risk.
The WHO has found some shocking revelations about the causes leading to deaths of people due to air pollution. Poor ventilation of indoor heaters and cookers are the main culprits, the agency said.
Maria Neira, director of the WHO’s department for public health, environmental and social determinants of health, said in a statement, “Few risks have a greater impact on global health today than air pollution. The evidence signals the need for concerted action to clean up the air we all breathe.”
The reports also showed that the low- and middle-income nations in Asia contributed to more than 70 percent of deaths related to air contamination in 2012.
Among the other crucial findings of the WHO study was that indoor smoke killed about 4.3 million people and outdoor air pollution killed about 3.7 million in 2012.
Flavia Bustreo, the WHO’s assistant director-general for family, women and children’s health, said in the statement, “Poor women and children pay a heavy price from indoor air pollution since they spend more time at home breathing in smoke and soot from leaky coal and wood cook stoves.”