Photo of a factory creating pollution
Photo credit Ann Baekken
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By Sam Meredith

Pollution kills at least 9 million people every year and "threatens the continuing survival of human societies," according to research from a new landmark study.

In 2015, almost one in six deaths – an estimated 9 million globally – were found to relate to pollution in some form.

The research, published Thursday in The Lancet medical journal, found that the overwhelming majority of pollution-related casualties – around 92 percent – were found in poor or middle-income nations. And in countries looking to industrialize rapidly, such as ChinaIndiaPakistan, Madagascar and Bangladesh, pollution was connected to as many as a quarter of all deaths, the report said.

The study is the first attempt to collate data on disease and death caused by all forms of pollution combined.

This study used data from the Global Burden of Disease Study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent research center within UW Medicine and one of the Department of Global Health's key partners. 


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