Global pollution responsible for deaths of 9 million people a year, study finds

Killer Pollution
Posted at 7:04 PM, May 17, 2022

A new study says pollution of all types is killing 9 million people a year. About three-quarters of that is air pollution.

The release of the study's findings on Tuesday reveals that overall pollution deaths haven’t changed much from 2015 to 2019. But that’s because household old-fashioned pollution from primitive stoves and waste-filled water pollution is down.

Air pollution deaths from cars, trucks and industry is up 55% from 2000. Scientists say pollution deaths are increasing especially in poorer nations. While pollution deaths are dropping in the United States, dirty air, water, lead and pollution at work still kills 140,000 Americans a year, more than in any other industrialized nation.

“9 million deaths is a lot of deaths,” said Philip Landrigan, director of the Global Public Health Program and Global Pollution Observatory at Boston College.

“The bad news is that it’s not decreasing,” Landrigan said. “We’re making gains in the easy stuff and we’re seeing the more difficult stuff, which is the ambient (outdoor industrial) air pollution and the chemical pollution, still going up.”