Research News

Pollution is linked to one in six deaths worldwide, study estimates

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4844 (Published 20 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4844
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

Pollution is associated with an estimated nine million deaths a year worldwide, equivalent to one in six of all deaths, a major study using 2015 data on the global burden of disease has estimated.

The study, reported in the Lancet,1 found that air pollution was the major contributor to these deaths and was associated with 6.5 million deaths in 2015. Water pollution was implicated in 1.8 million deaths, and workplace related pollution was linked to a further 0.8 million.

Most of these deaths were due to non-communicable diseases including heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The …

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