Air pollution is killing more people every year than smoking. That’s the damning verdict from a new report published in the European Heart Journal, which suggests damaging health implications related to pollution, such as particulate matter, are “substantially higher than previously assumed”.
The study claims air pollution caused 8.8 million extra deaths in 2015 and says a mixture of transport-based, agricultural and industrial pollutants takes an average of 2.2 years off the lives of those who die early.
These figures mean air pollution causes more deaths every year than smoking cigarettes.
The researchers conclude their work implies replacing fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy sources could “substantially reduce the loss of life expectancy from air pollution”.