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Outdoor air pollution kills more people each year than malaria and HIV/AIDS combined

Last Update 06/04/2021

Over 3 million people die prematurely as a result of exposure to outdoor air pollution each year, according to a new study.


Over 3 million people die prematurely as a result of exposure to outdoor air pollution each year – more deaths than those caused by malaria and HIV/AIDS combined, according to a new study.

The paper, published in the journal, Nature, considered different sources of outdoor air pollution – including traffic, power stations and farming – alongside a computer model of the global atmosphere to work out how different communities were affected.

The researchers found that the burning of wood and coal for heating and power was overall the leading cause of pollution-related deaths, especially in Asia. They also noted the huge impact of farming, which was the second-leading cause of pollution-related deaths.

The paper also warned that, without any action to tackle the issue, the number of deaths related to air pollution could double by 2050.

Read the original paper

Find out more about the Healthy Lungs for Life campaign, which is raising awareness of the importance of clean air.

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