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Unhealthy Environment kills over 12 million people globally

Environment affected rate reaches to 12.8 million globally, 3.8 in South East Asia

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Apr 25 2016 4:55PM | Updated Date: Apr 25 2016 4:55PM

Unhealthy Environment kills over 12 million people globally

It is a known fact that levels of air pollution in Delhi have reached to its maximum potential. And it seems that these levels refuse to come down despite strict measures.


Out of these 12.8 million, 8.2 million people die due to non-communicable diseases like strokes, heart attacks, cancers and other chronic respiratory ailments. Even if the number has dropped down from 13 million deaths, 2006 report by WHO, to 12.8 million deaths – the bigger picture can be seen in the details of this report.


 In a new report by World Health Organization (WHO), around 12.8 million people are dying because of the ‘unhealthy environment.’ This is about 23% of all the global deaths; environment itself only chalks out 23% of them.


“Deaths from infectious diseases such as diarrhea and malaria, arising from poor water and sanitation have declined and air pollution, have gone up”, stated in the report. 


Children and older people are the worst affected by this. 1.7 million Children who are under the age of 5 and 4.9 million adults between the age of 50-75 die due to such ‘unhealthy environment’ and these numbers can be avoided if we cut down on the PM 2.5 pollution levels"


In 2014, WHO air quality database from 1600 cities worldwide showed that Delhi was the most air polluted city in the world. The PM 2.5 levels of Delhi’s air was above than that of Beijing (56 ug/m3), Karachi (117 ug/m3) and Dhaka (86 ug/m3).


PM 2.5 is dust which fills into the lower lung system and then entering the bloodstream and causing dangerous diseases like asthma, heart attacks and cancer.


“Living in the cities is becoming tougher day by day – heavy traffic, limited green spaces and noise and air pollution are deteriorating our health”, said Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health.


She also highlighted about the environmental changes that South Africa is facing, “Many cities have already begun devising strategies to reduce environmental risk. In 2011, the City of Cape Town, South Africa, launched a new bus rapid transit system called MyCiti. It connects to a network of cycling paths and upgraded walkways, making it possible to walk or cycle to a bus stop in an integrated fashion.”