What kills the most people in developping countries ? You might think about AIDS / HIV. Or malaria… No : it’s pollution, which killed no less than 8.4 million people in 2012. In comparison, AIDS “only” killed 1.5 million and malaria 600,000.
As Triple Pundit reported :
Pollution is the leading cause of death in low- and middle-income countries, according to a report from the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP), an organization whose members include the World Bank, Columbia University’s Earth Institute, and various United Nations’ bodies and national governments.
Of the 8.4 million pollution-caused deaths in developing countries, air pollution was the leading offender, the report finds. Forty-four percent of pollution-caused deaths resulted from household air pollution, such as cook stoves that contaminate the air, and 38 percent were caused by ambient air pollution, including particulates from power plants, cars and trucks.
The contamination of soil and food from heavy metals released by industry and mining accounted for 10 percent of pollution-caused deaths, while local water systems, polluted by sewage and industrial waste, made up 8 percent.
Cancers, strokes, and heart and respiratory diseases are just some of the fatal health conditions that can result from exposure to pollution, the report says.
We have already seen that cleaner cookstoves is an important step for both global health and climate change. Check out the 2011 article for more details. There I already talked about Hillary Clinton… yes, THAT very Hillary Clinton…
Air pollution is just another reason to develop energy efficiency and conservation as well as renewables like solar, wind and the likes. Because when there is a nuclear catastrophe like in Czernobyl or Fukushima, it’s a national emergency. When there is an oil spill, it’s a local catastrophe.
But when it’s a solar spill, it’s just a beautiful day…
Image credits : Flickr.