A new report from the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health found that nine million people died from pollution in 2015. Of that nine million, air pollution causes the majority of them, 6.5 million deaths a year. Water and workplace pollution trail behind with 1.8 and 0.8 million deaths respectively. The highest percentage of pollution deaths occur in countries rapidly industrializing, like India (24.5% of all deaths are from pollution), Pakistan (21.9%), and China (19.5%). These deaths are a big deal, and worldwide costs associated with treating and supporting those affected by the pollution have reached 4.6 trillion dollars.
So who should be worrying about this? The majority of the people reading this are living in developed nations like the United States, where 5.7 percent of deaths are a result of pollution. Long-term exposures or high levels of air pollution lead to decreased lung function, damaged respiratory function, an increased workload for the heart, and other conditions like asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and possibly cancer. The list of people the pollution effects include pregnant women, the elderly, children under 14, people who work or exercise vigorously outdoors, and anyone with heart or lung disease. Even if you’re not in this growing list of affected people in a rapidly developing country, recent climate events make it clear that we are not ready for many of the challenges of our own making.
What Does Increased Pollution Mean?
Are there any solutions? Recent studies have suggested that B vitamins can offset air pollution. There are ways to efficiently detox the accumulation of heavy metals due to pollution, from activated charcoal to superfoods like chlorella. There are filters available for water and air, plants that purify the air more effectively, and salt lamps to manage indoor air. But to what end? This new report supports the view that we are still not doing enough to combat pollution.
According to Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, one of the co-chairs of the commission behind this report, This is not traditional pollution that is killing people in these rapidly industrializing lower-middle-income countries, it’s urban industrial air pollution — chemical pollution…”
Radioactive cesium isotopes from the nuclear disaster the so-called fingerprint of Fukushima in 2011 reached Canadian waters within two years. What will happen with the well documented Chinese air problems? This is a new reality, and we still don’t know what will happen.
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- Pollution linked to 9 million deaths worldwide in 2015, study says – CNN
- Fukushima’s Radioactive Ocean Water Arrives At West Coast – Live Science
- B Vitamins Can Offset Damage From Air Pollution – Organic Lifestyle Magazine
- Global pollution kills 9m a year and threatens ‘survival of human societies’ – The Guardian
- Overall Health Effects – Spare the Air