A new report from the World Health Organization states that a whopping 7 million people died as a result of air pollution in 2012: 40% of these people were living in China during that year.
So, air pollution was linked to more deaths than diabetes, accidents and AIDS together in 2012!
The Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has recently stated that air pollution is a top priority for the authorities of the nation, but the much needed interventions will require gigantic efforts over a long period.
Meanwhile, a study by Columbia University has proven that children whose mothers are living near a coal power plant in China have a strong reduction in the ability of learning and memory.
But the danger does not exist only in the outdoors. According to the WHO, indoor smoke produced by malfunctioning stoves or fireplaces in non-ventilated environments killed about 4.3 million people, compared with 3.7 million victims of outdoor air pollution.
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For the first time, therefore, the WHO certifies the dangers of air pollution, labeling it as a major cause of lung cancer and also considering it as a risk factor for bladder cancer.
At this point, you might be curious to know the other countries that are most likely to be affected by this problem. A 2010 chart with OECD data may provide some surprising suggestions. No, it’s not solely a Chinese problem, air pollution causes enormous damage in several countries: