Air pollution accounted for 8.1 million deaths globally in 2021: Report

Air pollution is the second-leading risk factor for death globally, putting it ahead of tobacco and poor diet, according to the fifth edition of the State of Global Air (SoGA) report.


ANI | Updated: 19-06-2024 22:15 IST | Created: 19-06-2024 22:15 IST
Air pollution accounted for 8.1 million deaths globally in 2021: Report
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Air pollution accounted for 8.1 million deaths globally in 2021, becoming the second leading risk factor for death, a report prepared in partnership with UNICEF revealed. Air pollution is the second-leading risk factor for death globally, putting it ahead of tobacco and poor diet, according to the fifth edition of the State of Global Air (SoGA) report.

The report released on Wednesday has been prepared by the Health Effects Institute (HEI), an independent US-based non-profit research organisation. The report has been produced for the first time in partnership with UNICEF. "Air pollution is having an increasing impact on human health, becoming the second leading global risk factor for death. The report found air pollution accounted for 8.1 million deaths globally in 2021," the report said.

Beyond these deaths, many more millions of people are living with debilitating chronic diseases, putting tremendous strains on healthcare systems, economies, and societies due to air pollution. The report finds that children under five years old are especially vulnerable, with health effects including premature birth, low birth weight, asthma and lung diseases.

"This new report offers a stark reminder of the significant impacts air pollution has on human health, with far too much of the burden borne by young children, older populations, and low- and middle-income countries," said Dr. Pallavi Pant, HEI's Head of Global Health, who oversaw the SoGA report release. "This points sharply at an opportunity for cities and countries to consider air quality and air pollution as high-risk factors when developing health policies and other noncommunicable disease prevention and control programs," Pant added.

The new SoGA Report offers a detailed analysis of recently released data from the Global Burden of Disease study from 2021 that shows the severe health impacts pollutants like outdoor fine particulate matter (PM2.5), household air pollution, ozone (O3), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are having on human health around the world. The report includes data from more than 200 countries and territories around the world, indicating that nearly every person on Earth breathes unhealthy levels of air pollution every day, with far-reaching health implications.

Globally, some of the highest PM2.5 exposures are experienced across South Asia, although levels are beginning to stabilize in most countries, the report noted. In the region, levels of ozone have also increased in the last decade, and in 2021, 56 per cent of all global ozone deaths were reported in South Asia.

The report finds that children under five years old are especially vulnerable, with health effects including premature birth, low birth weight, asthma and lung diseases. In 2021, exposure to air pollution was linked to more than 260,600 deaths of children under five years old, making it the second-leading risk factor for death in South Asia for this age group, after malnutrition. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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