Also shows that Britain has one of the worst records of pollution death
In a damning new study published in The Lancet, it has been revealed that pollution was responsible for nine million deaths globally in 2015. This also means that one in six people died due to pollution, exposing the toxic danger posed by contaminated air and water.
The landmark study finds that air pollution has the biggest impact, causing two-thirds of deaths from pollution. The findings, from a two-year project involving 40 international researchers, also states that the world’s air quality is reaching a “crisis point”.
“Pollution is one of the great existential challenges of the [human-dominated] Anthropocene era,” stated the authors of the Commission on Pollution and Health, adding that pollution “endangers the stability of the Earth’s support systems and threatens the continuing survival of human societies.”
The study also finds that pollution is responsible for more deaths in Britain than almost all of its Western European neighbours.Previously, experts had estimated that around 40,000 deaths in the UK were due to air pollution.
But the new findings reveal that the number of deaths in the UK is around 50,000 a year, putting Britain in 55th spot among 188 countries globally. Bangladesh and Somalia were the worst affected countries.
Air pollution is a major contributor to ill health in the UK, but it’s hard to say exactly by how much. Dirty air doesn’t directly kill people. But it’s estimated in the UK to contribute to the shortening of the lives of around 40,000 people a year, principally by undermining the health of people with heart or lung problems.
Britain has repeatedly suggested that it will work on a new clean air act, but has received flak from campaigners for delaying many of the most important measures to tackle pollution.