Water pollution linked to many fatalities, primarily in low- or middle-income countries
The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health published research showing pollution causes an estimated 9 million deaths per year. The 2015 study assessed data from 130 countries, noting that low- and middle-income countries are most affected by these fatalities.
Water pollution is a leading cause of death by pollution. According to the study, water pollution killed 1.8 million people in 2015. These deaths are caused by unsafe drinking water sources and limited safe water supplies, which directly affect unsafe sanitation. Children face the highest risk of being affected by pollution, as small exposures early in life can amount to lifelong disease and disability.
Air pollution has the largest impact on global populations. Poor air quality accounted for approximately 6.5 million premature deaths in 2015. Work-related pollutions also poses a large risk. The Lancet provides a call to action on how governments, organizations and individuals can help reduce pollution.