clear
Saturday September 5th, 2015 3:48AM

Pollution kills 7 million people every year

By The Associated Press
LONDON (AP) -- Air pollution kills about 7 million people worldwide every year, with more than half of the fatalities due to fumes from indoor stoves, according to a new report from the World Health Organization published Tuesday.

The agency said air pollution is the cause of about one in eight deaths and has now become the single biggest environmental health risk.

"We all have to breathe, which makes pollution very hard to avoid," said Frank Kelly, director of the environmental research group at King's College London, who was not part of the WHO report.

One of the main risks of pollution is that tiny particles can get deep into the lungs, causing irritation. Scientists also suspect air pollution may be to blame for inflammation in the heart, leading to chronic problems or a heart attack.

WHO estimated that there were about 4.3 million deaths in 2012 caused by indoor air pollution, mostly people cooking inside using wood and coal stoves in Asia. WHO said there were about 3.7 million deaths from outdoor air pollution in 2012, of which nearly 90 percent were in developing countries.

But WHO noted that many people are exposed to both indoor and outdoor air pollution. Due to this overlap, mortality attributed to the two sources cannot simply added together, hence WHO said it lowered the total estimate from around 8 million to 7 million deaths in 2012.

The new estimates are more than double previous figures and based mostly on modeling. The increase is partly due to better information about the health effects of pollution and improved detection methods. Last year, WHO's cancer agency classified air pollution as a carcinogen, linking dirty air to lung and bladder cancer.

WHO's report noted women had higher levels of exposure than men in developing countries.

"Poor women and children pay a heavy price from indoor air pollution since they spend more time at home breathing in smoke and soot from leaky coal and wood cook stoves," Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director-General for family, women and children's health, said in a statement.

Other experts said more research was needed to identify the deadliest components of pollution in order to target control measures more effectively.

"We don't know if dust from the Sahara is as bad as diesel fuel or burning coal," said Majid Ezzati, chair in global environmental health at Imperial College London.

Kelly said it was mostly up to governments to curb pollution levels, through measures like legislation, moving power stations away from big cities and providing cheap alternatives to indoor wood and coal stoves.

He said people could also reduce their individual exposure to choking fumes by avoiding traveling at rush hour or by taking smaller roads. Despite the increasing use of face masks in heavily polluted cities such as Beijing and Tokyo, Kelly said there was little evidence that they work.

"The real problem is that wearing masks sends out the message we can live with polluted air," he said. "We need to change our way of life entirely to reduce pollution."
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 8 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 8 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 8 months ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 8 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 8 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 8 months ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 8 months ago )
Local/State News
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 8 months ago )
Conviction of Putin foe sets off protest in Moscow
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
6:03PM ( 8 months ago )
More Georgians signing up for health insurance
A federal report says more Georgians have selected health insurance plans through a federally facilitated marketplace.
4:16PM ( 8 months ago )
Politics
US stocks sink as mixed jobs report keeps investors guessing about the rate outlook
NEW YORK (AP) — It's an adage that investors hate uncertainty. Unfortunately for them, they got more of it on Friday.The stock market has been volatile for weeks on concern that China's economy is slo...
5:43PM ( 10 hours ago )
Attorney for jailed clerk: Marriage licenses given to gay couples void, will appeal contempt
MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — A jailed Kentucky clerk asserted that marriage licenses issued without her authority Friday to gay couples in Rowan County are void and "not worth the paper they are written on" b...
5:10PM ( 10 hours ago )
NC ag officials talking about avian flu with flock owners
Agriculture department officials in North Carolina are holding a series of meeting with backyard poultry owners to talk about the dangers of avian flu.
By The Associated Press
12:59PM ( 14 hours ago )
US employers added 173,000 jobs in August; unemployment rate falls to 7-year low of 5.1 pct.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low in August as employers added a modest 173,000 jobs, a key piece of evidence for the Federal Reserve in deciding whether to raise i...
9:35AM ( 18 hours ago )
Judge nixes 4-game 'Deflategate' suspension for Tom Brady; NFL quickly appeals to 2nd Circuit
NEW YORK (AP) — Tom Brady learned Thursday he will start the season on the field after a judge lifted the league's four-game suspension of the star quarterback for a scandal over deflated footballs, s...
9:19PM ( 1 day ago )