China’s air pollution lead to 1.2 million premature deaths in 2010


The pea-soup-like air pollution in China’s cities has received a lot of attention over the past year, but its actual human toll is just now coming to light, and it’s much worse than thought. Some 1.2 million premature deaths in the country can be attributed to the outdoor air quality in 2010, a loss of some 25 million healthy years, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD), published by The Lancet in December. The New York Times reports that “ambient particulate matter pollution” was the number four cause of death in the country, behind dietary risks, high blood pressure, and smoking.

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