Air pollution and fine particles would cause 800,000 premature deaths each year in Europe, but also 9 million worldwide … That’s twice as much as we thought!
In May 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) was already sounding the alarm: in the world, 9 out of 10 people breathe polluted air! While the UN organization put forward the figure of 3.3 million deaths due to pollution, it would be necessary to reconsider number rising.
According to the latest figures from a new German and Cypriot report, 8.8 million people died from air pollution in 2015 around the world (2.8 million of them alone in China) . Indeed, 9 out of 10 people in the world breathe polluted air… And this causes many health problems, from simple asthma to acute respiratory diseases (such as pneumonia) or chronic (such as lung cancer), through cardiovascular diseases, myocardial infarction or myocardial infection. These cardiovascular conditions represent between 40 and 80% of these premature deaths.
Air pollution, more lethal than tobacco
Published in the European Heart Journal, this new study is therefore far ahead of the latest WHO official estimates. Almost 9 million deaths, “that means that air pollution causes more deaths each year than tobacco, responsible for 7.2 million deaths in 2015 according to the World Health Organization (WHO)”, detailed one of the authors, Professor Thomas Münzel from the University of Mainz (Germany). “We can avoid smoking, but we can not avoid being subjected to polluted air,” he says.
Across Europe, researchers now estimate that 790,000 deaths are due to air pollution in 2015, including 659,000 in the 28 states of the European Union. This figure is much higher than that given by the European Environment Agency in its annual report published last October. It estimated that air pollution to very fine particles (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2, emitted by diesel engines) and ozone (O3) was responsible in 2015 for 518,000 premature deaths. in 41 countries in Europe … far from reality.
“It is urgent to switch to other sources of energy”
Now that we know the real numbers, the authors of the study insist: “Since most of the fine particles and other air pollutants in Europe come from burning fossil fuels, it is urgent to switch to other sources of energy “.