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Air pollution leading cause for mortality worldwide, new study shows

MAINZ – Air pollution is the world’s leading cause of mortality as it reduces a person’s lifespan by three years on average, according to a study, reports Euractiv.

The researchers at Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz stress that, while according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that it had killed 4.2 million people in 2016, researchers have concluded that this figure could actually be closer to 8.8 million people.

Air pollution is thus proving to be the main risk factor for mortality worldwide, even surpassing both active and passive smoking, which accounts for 7.2 million deaths per year.

Air pollution was found to cause an average drop in life expectancy of 2.9 years, compared to 2.2 years for tobacco, 0.7 years for AIDS, 0.6 years for vector-borne diseases and 0.3 years for violent deaths, which includes homicides and wars.

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