Global pollution deaths are 9m annually

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Pollution is killing over 50,000 Britons and nine million across the globe each year.

"The financial cost from pollution-related death, sickness and welfare is equally massive, the report said, costing some (£3.59 trillion) in annual losses, or about 6.2 per cent of the global economy", the ABC says.

In simple terms, one in six deaths were due to pollution. Its dangers lie in respiratory and heart diseases including lung cancer, which can develop from long-term exposure.

Nearly all the deaths, 92 percent, happened in low- and middle-income countries, it said, with air pollution the main culprit, felling 6.5 million people. The deadliest form, responsible for more than two-thirds of deaths, was air pollution, they added.

India accounted for about 28% of an estimated 9 million pollution-linked deaths worldwide in 2015, the study found.

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After air pollution, the greatest hazard was contamination of water supplies and sanitation, leading to infectious disease.

But soil pollution from heavy metals or chemicals are not adequately researched and were not included in the study.

The alarm was sounded in Thursday's report by The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, an worldwide group of over 40 authors writing on health and environment.

It used data from the Global Burden of Disease study to bring brings together comprehensive estimates on the effects of pollution on health, provides economic costs, and reveals the extent of contaminated sites across the world for the first time.

Professor Philip Landrigan, from the Icahn School of Medicine in New York City, US, who co-led the investigation, said: "Pollution is much more than an environmental challenge - it is a profound and pervasive threat that affects many aspects of human health and well-being".

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Industrial plant in Port Talbot, UK which may contribute to pollution.

More than 155,000 people were killed by pollution in the United States, but those deaths made up just 5.74% of the country's total. It also topped the list of deaths linked to polluted air (1.81 million) and water (0.64 million), reports The Indian Express.

But pollution was not inevitable if tough anti-pollution laws and regulations are introduced.

While Brunei and Sweden had the lowest numbers of pollution-related fatalities, the report found Somalia and Bangladesh were the worst affected.

World leaders have been urged to take pollution more seriously after the global group of scientists concluded that it was killing nine million people a year.

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