WHO: One In Four Deaths Caused By Unhealthy Environment
The report is part of an effort by world leaders over the past year to inform the public of the close link between issues like climate change to something an individual can relate to -- their own health. A separate study links air pollution to an increased risk of diabetes.
The Washington Post:
Our Alarmingly Polluted Environment Is Killing 12.6 Million Each Year, WHO Warns
The World Health Organization has put a number on the people estimated to have died as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment and it's big -- 12.6 million. That number represents one in four of all deaths globally and underscores the devastating impact of the chemicals and waste we've been putting into the air, water and earth since the end of World War II. The WHO said deaths due to non-communicable diseases -- which include heart disease and cancer and are related to exposure to pollution -- now make up 8.2 million or nearly two-thirds of the total deaths. Deaths from infectious diseases -- such as malaria and diarrhea -- due to unsafe water and lack of sanitation represent one-third and are on the decline. (Cha, 3/16)
Air Pollution Not Just Bad For Your Lungs
Exposure to air pollution for just a month or two may still be enough to increase the risk of developing diabetes, especially for obese people, a recent U.S. study suggests. Researchers studied more than 1,000 Mexican-Americans living in southern California and found short-term exposure to contaminated air was linked to an increased risk of high cholesterol and impaired processing of blood sugar – risk factors for diabetes. (Rapaport, 3/16)