Seven billion people, more than 95% of the world’s population, live in areas of unhealthy air, according to a new global study. Air pollution is the leading environmental cause of death worldwide according to the State of Global Air 2018, the annual report and interactive website published today at www.stateofglobalair.org by the Health Effects Institute. All told, long-term exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution — contributed to 6.1 million premature deaths from stroke, heart attack, lung cancer, and chronic lung disease. That makes air pollution the 4th highest cause of death among all health risks, exceeded only by high blood pressure, diet, and smoking.
For the first time this year’s report and website include worldwide estimates of exposure to and health burdens of burning of solid fuels in their homes; in 2016 a total of 2.5 billion people — one in three global citizens — were exposed to household air pollution from the use of solid fuels (for example, coal, wood, charcoal, dung, or other biomass) for cooking and heating. Most live in low- and middle-income countries in Asia and Africa, and face a double burden: exposure to both indoor and outdoor air pollution.
Read the Complete News Release
- Direct to Report (24 pages; PDF)