Oct 20, 2017

16% of deaths worldwide linked to pollution

A cyclist pedals through the smog in New Delhi, India, on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. Photo: Manish Swarup / AP

Pollution was responsible for about 9 million deaths around the world in 2015, according to a new study commissioned by The Lancet. That's "three times more deaths than from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined and 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence," epidemiologist Philip Landrigan and his collaborators wrote.

Key findings from the research, which looked at causes of disease and premature death in 130 countries:

  • In 2015, an estimated 6.5 million people died from heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and other respiratory conditions tied to air pollution. Water pollution was responsible for 1.8 million deaths.
  • 92% of pollution-related deaths were seen in low-income and middle-income countries, per an accompanying article. The most deaths were in India (2.5 million) and China (1.8 million).
  • Economic impact: The report estimated a 1.3% reduction in GDP in low-income countries versus 0.5% in developed ones. But "reducing the pollution quantified in the report might impact production, and so would not likely translate into gains equal to the $4.6 trillion in economic losses," writes the AP's Katy Daigle.

"It doesn't have to [get worse]. It's not an inevitable outcome," Landrigan told the Washington Post. "Pollution control is a winnable battle."

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,250 people and infected almost 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 mins ago - Health

Repatriated American citizens have doubled coronavirus cases in U.S.

Face mask discarded outside the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

The official number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. just doubled — to 34 — but public health officials are pointing out that these are mostly people who've been repatriated.

Why it matters: As concerns grow about a global pandemic, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want to make sure the message gets out: "We are not seeing community spread here in the United States," Nancy Messonnier says.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health

Bernie opens up massive lead among college students

Data: College Reaction; Note: ±3.4 margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

In the last two months, Bernie Sanders has surged 20 points among college students to become the group's clear 2020 favorite, according to a new College Reaction/Axios poll.

Why it matters: The numbers reflect the extent to which young Democratic voters are embracing socialism and rejecting moderate choices.