A research by Simon Fraser University has found that pollution causes 16% of all deaths globally, in the first of its kind global analysis of the impacts of pollution-air, water, soil, occupational among others.
Prof. Bruce Lanphear, the health science professor at the Simon Fraser University in his report, "The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health", has detailed about the adverse effects of pollution on people's health globally.
Lanphear said, "This is the first global analysis of the impacts of pollution-air, water, soil, occupational â together as well as exploring the economic costs and the social injustice of pollution. Pollution, which is at the root of many diseases and disorders that plague humankind, is entirely preventable."
The research has found pollution as the cause of about 9 million premature deaths in 2015. It accounts for about three times more deaths than total deaths caused by HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined.
It was also found that pollution was the cause for 15 times more death toll when compared to deaths from all wars and other forms of violence. It is a bigger killer than the smoking, hunger and natural disasters. Several countries have pollution as the reason for every one in four deaths.
Low- and middle-income countries bear nearly 92% of pollution-related deaths. The poor and the vulnerable or marginalized communities are the most affected from it.
Children face the greatest risks if the mothers are exposed to chemicals during the pregnancy period. The children who are exposed to chemicals and pollutants in their early childhood can develop lifelong diseases and disabilities. It may also result in facing difficulty while learning and could decrease work potential. The pollutants and chemicals can even cause premature deaths of children, said Prof. Lanphear.
Pollution has been regarded as the major cause for climate change and loss of biodiversity. The use of Fossil fuels by the higher income countries and burning of biomass in lower-income countries have contributed to 85% of airborne particle pollutants. Carbon emissions from vehicles, power plants, mining operators and chemical producers are some of the known major pollutants.
Switching to cleaner sources of energy has been recognized as the best way to control air pollution and the best way to sustain human health and planet's survival, said the report.