02 Apr 2013:
Air Pollution Linked to
1.2 Million Chinese Deaths in 2010
Air pollution contributed to the premature deaths of more than 1.2 million people in China in 2010, or about 40 percent of early deaths worldwide caused by dirty air, according to a newly released analysis. The findings, based on data from a study on the distribution and causes of death globally, categorized
“ambient particulate matter pollution” as the fourth-leading factor in premature deaths in China, behind dietary risks, high blood pressure, and smoking. Worldwide, air pollution was the seventh-leading cause of premature death, contributing to 3.2 million deaths, according to the study. While the study was published in The Lancet
, a UK-based medical journal, the summary of China statistics was reported at a forum in Beijing, the New York Times says
. In India, the study linked air pollution to 620,000 premature deaths in 2010. “We have been rolling out the India- and China-specific numbers, as they speak more directly to national leaders than regional numbers,” Robert O’Keefe, vice president of the Health Effects Institute, a research group helping to spread the report, told the Times
. The findings come as public outrage grows in China as residents of many cities endure choking air far in excess of safe levels.