India leads world in pollution linked deaths
The report by the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP) found pollution to be the largest environmental cause of premature death on the planet, causing 15 percent of all deaths—some 8.3 million people.
Among the ten countries with the most pollution deaths in 2017, the latest year for which data was available, were some of the world's largest and wealthiest nations, along with some poorer ones.
India and China led in the number of pollution deaths, with about 2.3 million and 1.8 million deaths respectively, followed by Nigeria, Indonesia and Pakistan.
The United States, with 325 million people, came in at number seven with almost 200,000 deaths.
"The report reminds us all that pollution is a global crisis," said Rachael Kupka, acting Executive Director of GAHP. "It does not matter where you live. Pollution will find you."
Pollution-linked deaths rates were highest in some of the world's most impoverished countries where poor water sanitation and contaminated indoor air are major killers.
Chad, Central African Republic and North Korea saw the highest number of deaths per 100,000 people (287, 251 and 202 respectively), with India entering the per capita list at number 10 with 174 deaths per 100,000 people. ■