Is air pollution choking Europeans to death?

Mar 18, 2019, 8:44 AM EDT
(Source: Friends of the Earth Scotland/flickr)
(Source: Friends of the Earth Scotland/flickr)

A new study, published in the European Heart Journal, claims that air pollution kills nearly 800,000 people across Europe annually, while the fatalities due to toxic air hit 8.8 million globally every year. For a comparative understanding of these figures, you should know that smoking takes 7 million extra lives worldwide each year.

But should these numbers be taken at face value? Candidly, these figures are just a way of representing the seriousness of air pollution and do not measure actual deaths. The haze around what constitutes a death exclusively by air pollution makes this counting very tricky, notes New Scientist.

Hence, to present the impact of air pollution in more meaningful measures, the researchers chose to state in terms of deaths per year. One of the scientists involved in the study said that phasing out fossil fuels is the answer to not only achieve the Paris Agreement goals but to cut air pollution-related deaths by 55 percent, writes Inhabitat.