U.S. Is 7th Deadliest Country for Pollution
The U.S. is the wealthiest country to make an appearance on a list ranking the 10 nations with the most pollution-related deaths, The Guardian reported Wednesday.
The list is part of the latest report from the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP) on the global health impacts of air, water and workplace pollution. Overall, pollution was responsible for 15 percent of deaths worldwide in 2017, remaining the No. 1 environmental killer. Pollution kills three times more people every year than HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria put together, according to The Guardian, and 15 times more people than war or violence.
"The report reminds us all that pollution is a global crisis. It does not matter where you live. Pollution will find you," GAHP acting Executive Director Rachael Kupka said in a press release.
Pollution is deadliest in India, where it claimed 2,326,771 lives. China came next with 1,865,566 deaths and Nigeria third with 279,318. The U.S. ranked seventh, higher than Russia, Ethiopia and Brazil, with 196,930 deaths.
New report: US is on #top10 list with 196,930 #pollution-related deaths per year. (while ranking 132nd in the numbe… https://t.co/iYQQU9OS8j— GAHP (@GAHP)1576688112.0
The findings come as the Trump administration has worked to roll back both air and water pollution standards. At the same time, the climate crisis is making air pollution in the U.S. worse, partly because it increases wildfires.
"We're facing serious risks from pollution and those risks are exacerbated by climate change. The U.S. has historically been the gold standard in tackling pollution, and today we are sadly not doing enough and the fact that we're going backward is unconscionable," former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said in the press release. "This report reminds us that climate change isn't just about faraway countries or forest fires and floods – it's about our health and the health of our kids – here and now."
However, report coauthor and chair of the GAHP board of directors Richard Fuller said that the figures, from 2017, wouldn't account yet for the full impact of Trump rollbacks.
"We won't pick up the extra deaths for a few years, but it doesn't look good for the US," he told The Guardian. "The [regulatory] roll-backs could lead to the US moving up the chart, and as always it will be poor communities who are disproportionately affected."
The report also listed the countries with the most deaths per 100,000 people and the most deaths from air pollution specifically. The second list featured many smaller countries and was led by Chad, the Central African Republic and North Korea. India, the only country to make all three lists, came in 10th with 174 deaths per 100,000 people.
"India has seen increasing industrial and vehicular pollution from urban growth while poor sanitation and contaminated indoor air persist in low-income communities," the report said, according to an AFP article published by Phys.Org.
Here are the deadliest countries in terms of pollution-related deaths per 100,000. If you don't see your country on… https://t.co/Jswo4vCs3H— GAHP (@GAHP)1576694406.0
Overall, air pollution accounted for 40 percent of worldwide pollution deaths, AFP reported. China and India led that list as well, with their spots reversed, and Pakistan came in third. The U.S. was seventh on this list as well, and ambient air pollution was to blame for more than half of the pollution-related deaths in the country, GAHP said.
The full ranking of air pollution deaths per country is as follows:
- China: 1,242,987 deaths
- India: 1,240,529
- Pakistan: 128,005
- Indonesia: 123,753
- Bangladesh: 122,734
- Nigeria: 114,115
- United States of America: 107,507
- Russian Federation: 99,392
- Brazil: 66,245
- Philippines: 64,386
Overall, air pollution kills more people every year than tobacco, which kills around 8 million, AFP reported.
- U.S. Air Pollution Is Getting Worse Under Trump, New Study Finds ... ›
- Air Pollution Caused 400,000 Early EU Deaths in 2016, Study Finds ... ›
- Air Pollution Linked to 30,000 U.S. Deaths in One Year - EcoWatch ›
England's Somerset county can now boast its first beaver dam in more than 400 years.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Alex McInturff, Christine Wilkinson and Wenjing Xu
What is the most common form of human infrastructure in the world? It may well be the fence. Recent estimates suggest that the total length of all fencing around the globe is 10 times greater than the total length of roads. If our planet's fences were stretched end to end, they would likely bridge the distance from Earth to the Sun multiple times.
Early advertisement for barbed wire fencing, 1880-1889. The advent of barbed wire dramatically changed ranching and land use in the American West by ending the open range system. Kansas Historical Society / CC BY-ND
The authors assembled a conservative data set of potential fence lines across the U.S. West. They calculated the nearest distance to any given fence to be less than 31 miles (50 kilometers), with a mean of about 2 miles (3.1 kilometers). McInturff et al,. 2020 / CC BY-ND
- 'This Is Not Like a Fence in a Backyard' — Trump's Border Wall vs ... ›
- New Border Wall Construction Threatens 8 Species With Extinction ... ›
Climate change is making ancient Hopi farming nearly impossible, threatening not just the Tribe's staple food source, but a pillar of its culture and religion, the Arizona Republic reports.
- These Are the Challenges Facing India's Most Sacred River ... ›
- Oil Spill Causes 'Major Disaster' for Ganges River Dolphins ... ›
By Kenny Stancil
An expert panel of top international and environmental lawyers have begun working this month on a legal definition of "ecocide" with the goal of making mass ecological damage an enforceable international crime on par with war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
- Are the Amazon Fires a Crime Against Humanity? - EcoWatch ›
- 'Her Work Will Live On': Climate Movement Mourns Loss of Ecocide ... ›