Study: Over 5 Years, Pollution Killed More Than War, Terrorism, Or Drugs
In fact, the study published in The Lancet Planetary Health Journal says from 2015 through 2019, one in every six deaths of people around the world had roots in pollution-related issues. Also: NPR reports on a study showing a link between cutting fossil fuel air pollution in the U.S. and saving lives.
The Washington Post:
Pollution Caused 1 In 6 Deaths Globally For Five Years, Study Says
In 2015, 1 in 6 deaths worldwide stemmed from poor air quality, unsafe water and toxic chemical pollution. That deadly toll — 9 million people each year — has continued unabated through 2019, killing more people than war, terrorism, road injuries, malaria, drugs and alcohol. The new findings, released Tuesday by the Lancet Planetary Health journal, shows that pollution continues to be the world’s largest environmental health threat for disease and premature deaths, with more the 90 percent of these deaths taking place in low- and middle-income countries. (Patel, 5/17)
In related news about pollution in the U.S. —
Cutting Fossil Fuel Air Pollution Saves Lives
Tens of thousands of lives would be saved every year in the United States if common air pollution from burning fossil fuels is eliminated, according to a new study. The research underscores the huge health benefits of moving away from coal, oil and gasoline. Using data from the Environmental Protection Agency, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison estimate that about 50,000 premature deaths would be avoided every year if microscopic air pollutants called particulates were eliminated in the U.S. "These [particles] get deep into the lungs and cause both respiratory and cardiac ailments," says Jonathan Patz, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and one of the authors of the study. "They are pretty much the worst pollutant when it comes to mortality and hospitalization." (Hersher, 5/17)
On monkeypox and avian flu —
CDC Concerned About Possible Undetected Monkeypox Spread In U.K.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expressed concern Tuesday about an unusual outbreak of monkeypox in the United Kingdom, suggesting there appears to be at least some undetected transmission of the virus there and warning of the possibility that the outbreak could spread beyond U.K. borders. “We do have a level of concern that this is very different than what we typically think of from monkeypox. And I think we have some concern that there could be spread outside the U.K associated with this,” Jennifer McQuiston, a senior CDC official, told STAT in an interview. (Branswell, 5/17)
CDC Assesses H5N1 Avian Flu Zoonotic Risk As Moderate
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently added the Eurasian H5N1 avian flu strain that is circulating globally, including in US wild birds and poultry, to the list of animal flu viruses with zoonotic potential that it is monitoring. The CDC conducted its assessment in March, after the first human case had been detected in the United Kingdom but before the second human case was reported in the United States, which involved a poultry culler in Colorado. (5/17)
Pope's Recipe To Heal His Painful Knee? A Shot Of Tequila
Doctors have prescribed a wheelchair, cane and physical therapy to help heal Pope Francis’ bad knee. He has other ideas. According to a viral video of the pope at the end of a recent audience, Francis quipped that what he really needs for the pain is a shot of tequila. (5/17)