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Air Pollution Bigger Killer Than Previously Thought

Coal-fired Big Bend Power Station near Apollo Beach, Florida.
Wknight94 via WikiCommons
Coal-fired Big Bend Power Station near Apollo Beach, Florida.

According to new research from Harvard University, 8.7 million people died from fossil fuel pollution in 2018.

Exposure to air pollution particulate matter from fossil fuel emissions made up about one of every 5 deaths globally in 2018. In the U.S. and Europe, approximately one in 10 deaths were attributed to the pollution, and nearly a third of deaths in Asia.

The air pollution is caused by the burning of fossil fuels, including coal and oil.

In Europe, children under the age of 5 saw a death rate exceeding 13% due to air pollution, and in North America, children under 5 had a death rate of more than 6% due to the pollution.

The research, published in the journal Environmental Research, was conducted with University College in London, University of Birmingham, and the University of Leicester.

The research findings more than double the previously thought number of 4.2 million annual deaths due to air pollution, and brings into question the viability of continuing to rely on fossil fuels with the mounting evidence that it is causing such adverse health effects that includes millions of deaths annually.

Read more at Harvard.

Read more at The Guardian.

Read the research.