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Short-Term Exposure to High Levels of Air Pollution Kills 1 Million Globally Every Year, New Study Finds

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Every year, more than one million deaths globally occur because of short-term exposure to fine particulate matter in air pollution, according to a new report.

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Published in The Lancet Planetary Health journal, this study looked at data from over 13,000 cities and towns worldwide over a period of two decades. While previous research had mainly focused on the long-term effects of persistent pollution, this latest study highlights the significant impact of short bursts of pollution, such as those from landscape fires and dust storms.

The researchers found that Asia bears the highest burden, accounting for around 65.2 percent of global mortality due to short-term fine particulate matter exposure. Africa followed with 17 percent, Europe with 12.1 percent, and the Americas with 5.6 percent, while Oceania had a minimal contribution. Urban areas, particularly in Asia and Africa, were most affected.

The study emphasizes the need for targeted interventions in areas most affected by acute air pollution, including the implementation of warning systems and community evacuation plans.

To read about research showing that high-dose B vitamins have a protective effect against air pollution, see this article on our website.

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