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A new analysis has found that exposure to toxic air, water, soil and chemicals kills 8.3 million people across the world each year. The landmark research was published by the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution on Wednesday and it warned that pollution kills three times as many people a year as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. It is also responsible for 15 times the number of deaths caused by war and other forms of violence annually. The vast majority of deaths, more than 90%, occur in low and middle-income countries.
The analysis found that India and China are the countries with the most annual premature deaths from pollution with 2,326,711 and 1,865,566 respectively. It notes that it is not surprising to see these countries at the top of the list as both have billion-plus populations and are industrializing rapidly. Other heavily populated countries are badly affected as well, and Nigeria (279,318), Indonesia (232,974) and Pakistan (223,836) round off the top five. The United States is also among the ten worst countries for pollution deaths with just under 200,000 deaths per year.
The problem doesn’t just manifest itself in heavily-populated industrialized nations where mega-cities are shrouded in smog. Pollution is the leading cause of premature death in many low and middle-income countries where poor water sanitation and contaminated indoor air are a major threat to the populace. When it comes to the number of pollution-related deaths per 100,000 of the population, Chad has the highest toll with 287. It is followed by the Central African Republic with 251 and North Korea with 202. Notably, India comes 10th on the list of pollution deaths per 100,000 inhabitants with 174.
*Click below to enlarge (charted by Statista)