“The World Health Organization’s most recent estimates (2016) suggested that over 4.2 million people die prematurely each year due to long-term exposure to fine particulate outdoor air pollution (tiny particles often referred to as PM2.5). A new study now suggests that the annual global death toll from outdoor PM2.5 may be significantly higher than previously thought.” [Source: Medicalexpress.com]
Research published in the European Heart Journal in 2019 found that air pollution caused 790,000 excess deaths in Europe in 2015, and a total of 8,790,000 globally. Diseases for which air pollution is believed to be a contributory factor to cause of death include cardiovascular disease, heart failure, lung cancer and chronic airway inflammatory diseases, and kidney disease.
With additional research showing air pollution can worsen bone health, exacerbate eczema and dermatitis, and reduce cognitive performance, its estimated total cost to the global economy is a staggering $2.9 trillion per year – a sum equivalent to 3.3 percent of the world’s GDP.
Clearly, therefore, so long as the fossil fuel industry and its government stakeholders remain addicted to the use of outdated energies such as oil, gas and coal, human health will continue to be held to ransom and the lives of millions of innocent people will be brought to an end prematurely. It is therefore essential that mankind moves away from these polluting fuels and, on a planetary scale, replaces them with clean, safe, renewable forms of energy generation.
Meantime, there are things we can do to help protect ourselves against the negative health effects of air pollution. Eating a vitamin-rich Mediterranean diet has been shown to protect against some of the harm caused by long-term exposure, while supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids has also been found to be beneficial.
To learn how taking high-dose B vitamin supplements has a protective effect against air pollution, see this article on our website.