From: Alexis Petru, Triple Pundit, More from this Affiliate
Published January 28, 2015 08:51 AM

Pollution Blamed as Leading Cause of Death in Developing World

In 2012, pollution – in the form of contaminated soil, water, and both indoor and outdoor air – was responsible for 8.4 million deaths in developing countries, finds Pollution: The Silent Killer of Millions in Poor Countries. That’s almost three times more deaths than those caused by malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis combined: Malaria claimed 600,000 lives in 2012, HIV/AIDS caused 1.5 million deaths and tuberculosis killed 900,000 individuals.

And the Ebola outbreak that had American legislators shaking in their suits, while ignoring more pressing national issues? Last year, fewer than 8,000 individuals died from the Ebola virus, the report says.

Worldwide, pollution is responsible for 8.9 million deaths – or 1 in 7 deaths globally. But 94 percent of the burden of pollution falls on lower-income countries “who are the least equipped to deal with the problem,” according to the report.

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.

Continue reading at ENN affiliate, Triple Pundit.

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