New studies have found that death rates due to pollution are much higher than previously thought, causing 4.2 million premature deaths per year.

Ambient and household air (indoor air) pollution are considered to be major health risk factors leading to morbidity and premature mortality with significant direct and indirect costs to the community.1 The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) project calculated for 2015, 4.2 million premature deaths per year worldwide due to air pollution especially by particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter < 2.5 µm (PM2.5).1,2 More than half of the deaths were attributed to cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease due to embolic and hemorrhagic stroke, but also due to non-communicable diseases such as arterial hypertension, diabetes, lung cancer and chronic obstructive

Photograph © Andrew Dunn [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

pulmonary disease.

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