According to the Reuter, a team of scientists announced Tuesday that worsening outdoor air pollution and lethal lead poisoning have kept worldwide fatalities from environmental contamination at an estimated 9 million per year since 2015, despite modest progress in other areas. Pakistan is also among these countries.
An earlier version of the study, published in 2017, projected the annual death toll from pollution to be over 9 million — or roughly one in every six deaths worldwide — and the cost to the global economy to be up to $4.6 trillion. In terms of worldwide mortality, this puts pollution on par with smoking.
COVID-19, on the other hand, has killed around 6.7 million people worldwide since the outbreak began.
The scientists collected 2019 data from the Global Burden of Disease, an ongoing project at the University of Washington that measures total pollution exposure and predicts mortality risk, for their most recent analysis, which was published in the online journal Lancet Planetary Health.
The new study digs further into the causes of pollution, distinguishing between conventional pollutants like indoor smoking and sewage and more modern pollutants like industrial air pollution and harmful chemicals.