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The number of annual deaths caused by pollution around the world is now greater than malaria and HIV combined, according to a recent study, with scientists warning that fatalities could reach 6 million a year by 2050.”

“…According to the World Health Organisation, the toxic fumes of growing numbers of diesel cars are combining with ammonia emissions from farming, wood and coal fires, tyre burning, open rubbish dumps, and dust from construction sites and brick kilns. The consequence is a global crisis that threatens to overwhelm countries’ economies as people succumb to heart and respiratory diseases, blood vessel conditions, strokes, lung cancers and other long-term illnesses.

The toxic haze blanketing cities was observed last week from the international space station.

‘It’s bad now, but we just don’t know what will happen in future,’ says María Neira, WHO public health chief. ‘This is the first generation in human experience exposed to such high levels of pollution. In the 19th century pollution was bad, but it was concentrated in just a few places. Now there are huge numbers of people living with high levels of pollution. Nearly 70% of people in cities are exposed to pollution above recommended levels.’

“…According to a recent study in Nature, led by Johannes Lelieveld, director of the Max Planck Institute for chemistry in Germany, more people now die from air pollution than malaria and HIV combined. They include 1.4 million people a year in China and 650,000 in India. This compares with about 180,000 a year in Europe.

New WHO figures on 2,000 cities, to be released next month, will show pollution worsening in many countries. At the last count in 2014, 15 out of the 20 most polluted places were in India and China. The others were in Pakistan, Iran and Bangladesh. Of the worst 100, nearly 70 were in Asia and only a handful in Europe or the US.” The Guardian. Read it on

Air Pollution: a dark cloud of filth poisons the world’s cities