Chinese Air Pollution Deadliest in World, Report Says

Kevin Holden Platt in Beijing, China
for National Geographic News
July 9, 2007

China the world’s fastest growing economy, has earned another startling superlative: the highest annual incidence of premature deaths triggered by air pollution in the world, according to a new study.

A World Health Organization (WHO) report estimates that diseases triggered by indoor and outdoor air pollution kill 656,000 Chinese citizens each year, and polluted drinking water kills another 95,600. (Related: “China’s Pollution Leaving Mountains High and Dry, Study Finds” [March 8, 2007].)

Air pollution is estimated to cause approximately two million premature deaths worldwide per year,” said Michal Krzyzanowski, an air quality adviser at the WHO Regional Office for Europe.

Krzyzanowski worked with WHO to look at costs and casualties of pollution across the globe. He helped the group develop new air quality guidelines that set out global goals to reduce deaths from pollution.

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