12/19/2019, 13.18
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Deadly pollution: India leads, followed by China and Nigeria

Environmental pollution killed 8.3 million people in 2017, 15 per cent of all deaths. The most virtuous country is Qatar. Toxic air causes more deaths than tobacco. The risk factors include lead from petrol deposited in the ground by car exhausts.

New Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – India is ranked first in the world in terms of number of deaths due to pollution, followed by China and Nigeria, this according to a report by the New York-based  Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP), an organisation that monitors the impact of contaminants in the air, water and the workplace.

The study found that pollution is the leading cause of premature deaths on the planet, equal to 15 per cent of all deaths, some 8.3 million people.

India and China led in the number of pollution deaths, with about 2.3 million and 1.8 million deaths respectively, followed by Nigeria, Indonesia and Pakistan. The United States, with a population of 325 million, is in seventh place with almost 200,000 deaths.

“The report reminds us all that pollution is a global crisis,” said Rachael Kupka, acting executive director of GAHP. “It does not matter where you live. Pollution will find you.”

The India’s pollution levels confirm the results of other studies recently carried out by various research institutes. in the survey on the most toxic cities in the world, India tops the list with 22 cities out of 30. In the survey of the countries most at risk, it comes third. At the other end, one finds five countries on the Arabian Peninsula, with Qatar as the most virtuous.

The report is based on the latest data (2017) from the Seattle-based Institute of Health Metrics Evaluation. The study divided risk factors into four categories: air, water, occupational and lead.

Air pollution represents a combination of household and outdoor contaminants as well as ozone, whilst water pollution included unsafe water and poor sanitation.

Occupational risk encompassed deaths from carcinogens, second-hand smoke, particulates, gases, and fumes, whilst lead pollution deaths were associated with exposure to legacy emissions from leaded petrol, i.e. the lead that was deposited, and still remains, in the soil from car exhausts.

The report notes that the number of deaths caused by pollution exceeds those from tobacco use, which is around 8 million, but it is lower than deaths caused by alcohol and drugs, high sodium diets, HIV, malaria, TB, and war.

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