The United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) just released a shocking report linking severe air pollution – both indoor and outdoor combined – to about seven million deaths across the globe in 2012.
“This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk,” said WHO.
The health organization said that the new data shows “a strong link between both indoor and outdoor air pollution exposure and cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and ischaemic (coronary) heart disease, as well as between air pollution and cancer.
“This is in addition to air pollution’s role in the development of respiratory diseases, including acute respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD).” The estimates were based on WHO mortality data from 2012 associated with conditions related to exposure to air pollution.
Looking at indoor air pollution worldwide, the health organization estimated that indoor air pollution was linked to about 4.3 million deaths in 2012, which was related to “households cooking over coal, wood, and biomass stoves.”