Unhealthy environment blamed for quarter of deaths worldwide

A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 12.6 million deaths each year—nearly one in four—are caused by environmental hazards such as air pollutionwater pollution and unsafe working conditions. The report found that unhealthy environments are most risky for young children, who are vulnerable to lower respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases, and older adults, who are most impacted by cardiovascular diseases.

The report was released March 15, 2016.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researcher Joseph Allen, assistant professor of exposure assessment science, said that the WHO report may underestimate the toll of environmental hazards on health. “Climate change is exacerbating nearly every environmental health issue we have,” he said.

Read Bloomberg article: Our Broken Environment Kills a Quarter of Us