Monday, April 15, 2024

Fossil fuels cause several million deaths each year

Share

People damage their health in various ways and one of those ways is to continue to use fossil fuels. In 2018 alone more than 8 million people died from fossil fuel-related pollution, according to new research.

Researchers at Harvard University in the United States, working with colleagues at the University of Birmingham, the University of Leicester and University College London in the United States, estimate in a new study that exposure to airborne fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from fossil fuel emissions resulted in nearly one in five deaths among adults that year globally.

At the same time, mortality caused by lower respiratory infections among children under the age of five in the Americas and Europe due to PM2.5 exposure was also markedly high, the experts say.

“We estimate a global total of 10.2 (95% CI: -47.1 to 17.0) million premature deaths annually attributable to the fossil-fuel component of PM2.5,” they write. “The greatest mortality impact is estimated over regions with substantial fossil fuel related PM2.5: notably China (3.9 million), India (2.5 million) and parts of [the] eastern US, Europe and Southeast Asia.”

It has long been known that long-term exposure to high levels of air pollution can cause or worsen a wide variety of often chronic conditions from pulmonary disease to heart disease to dementia in adults and attention deficit disorder in children. Previous studies have shown that even in some of the world’s richest nations such as the United States as many as 30,000 people die of causes directly linked to airborne pollutants.

However, the new study focused on harmful airborne pollutants resulting specifically from the burning of fossil fuels in various forms. Read more…

Read more

Related News