Air pollution deaths are double earlier estimates

Modesto Morganelli
Marzo 14, 2019

Between 40 and 80 percent of those excess deaths are caused by heart attacks, strokes and other types of cardiovascular disease underestimated up to now as a driver of smog-related mortality, researchers reported.

Air pollution has caused the death of 8.8 million people in 2015 - nearly double the previous estimate of 4.5 million, according to researchers from Germany and Cyprus.

"Smoking can be avoided, but air pollution cannot", says another researcher, Professor Thomas Münzel of the Department of Cardiology at the Medical University Center in Mainz, Germany, quoted by bTV.

The cocktail of extremely fine particles known as particulate matter 2.5, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and ground-level O-zone has also been linked to lower productivity in regions prone to smog. "In Europe alone, the excess number of deaths is almost 800,000 a year and each of these deaths represents an average reduction in life expectancy of more than two years". Even at this level, several European countries regularly exceed the limit. That's twice as many deaths from cardiovascular disease than respiratory illnesses.

By comparison, the average human hair is 60-to-90 microns thick.

The researchers said new data indicated the hazardous health effect of PM2.5 - the main cause of respiratory and cardiovascular disease - was much worse than previously thought.

The WHO has recommended that the density in the air of these risky microscopic particles should not exceed, on average, 10 microgrammes per cubic metre (35 mcg/m3) per year.

Air pollution is killing more people every year than smoking, according to research published on Tuesday that called for urgent action to stop burning fossil fuels.

The UK's death rate translates into 98 early deaths per 100,000 - compared to 120 worldwide and 129 in Europe. The findings were particularly grim for Eastern Europe, with countries like Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Ukraine reporting an excess death rate of over 200 each year per 100,000 of the population, researchers said. "We think this may be explained by more advanced health care in western Europe, where life expectancy is generally higher", said co-author Jos Lelieveld of the Max-Plank Institute for Chemistry in Mainz and the Cyprus Institute Nicosia, Cyprus.

A study estimates that 8.8million deaths a year around the world can be attributed to dirty air, chiefly fine sooty particles from vehicle exhausts, factories and power plants.

The researchers said national governments and global agencies must take urgent action to reduce air pollution, including re-evaluating legislation on air quality and lowering the EU's current limits on the annual average levels of air pollution to match the World Health Organization guidelines.

He said: "The high number of extra deaths caused by air pollution in Europe is explained by the combination of poor air quality and dense population, which leads to exposure that is among the highest in the world". Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D.in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b.

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