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Pollution killed 9 million people in 2015

First global look finds that dirty air, water and soil are to blame for one in six premature deaths

By
5:50pm, October 20, 2017
New Delhi

SILENT KILLER  Pollution, especially dirty air such as seen here in New Delhi, is linked to roughly one-sixth of the world’s premature deaths, a new study finds.

About one in every six premature deaths worldwide is linked to dirty air, water and soil.

Most of those deaths are concentrated among the world’s poorest populations, according to a study published online October 19 in the Lancet that documents the health and economic toll of pollution in 2015. In the most severely polluted countries, 25 percent of premature deaths could be attributed to pollution, especially in the air. More than half of the global deaths from air pollution in 2015 occurred in India and China.

Previous reports have documented the health cost of environmental damage according to individual types of pollutants. But this report, by the Lancet Commission on pollution and health, “is the first time that it has all been brought together under one umbrella,” said study coauthor Richard Fuller, president of the nonprofit Pure Earth.

An estimated 9

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