Study reveals amount of premature deaths linked to international trade

Air Pollution
Air Pollution

A new study involving the University of East Anglia (UEA) has revealed for the first time the global scale of premature deaths related to air pollution from international trade.

Each year millions of people die prematurely from diseases caused by exposure to outdoor air pollution. While some studies have estimated premature mortality related to local air pollution sources, it can be affected by atmospheric transport of pollution from distant sources.

International trade is also contributing to the globalisation of emissions and pollution as a result of the production of goods, and their associated emissions, in one region, for consumption in another.

The effects of international trade on air pollutant emissions and air quality have been investigated regionally, but this study presents for the first time a combined global assessment on health impact.

The research, published tomorrow in the journal Nature, estimates premature mortality linked to fine particulate matter pollution (PM2.5) as a result of atmospheric transport and the production and consumption of goods and services in 13 regions—encompassing 228 countries—of the world. The study focused on deaths from heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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