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Environmental pollution claims 9 million lives worldwide every year

Air pollution is associated with the development of respiratory diseases | Font: AFP

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Air pollution is directly responsible for 9 million deaths worldwide every year, as participants in the second and final day of the First International Meeting on Environmental Health and Disease, which takes place from Thursday in Barcelona.

Experts attending the meeting, which took place at the HM Nou Delfos hospital in the Spanish city, warned that exposure to pollution during the first year of life and childhood affects various traits of intelligence, performance and cognition, while in adults it promotes development. disease such as COPD, asthma, allergies, tumors, or changes in the endocrine system.

The second day of the I International Meeting on Health and Environmental Diseases was devoted to the analysis of the main Causes of death of the world’s population and what are the characteristics of the environment in which they occur.

“The results are significant as air pollution causes 9 million deaths per year in the world, while climate change directly affects the deaths of 500,000 people a year and indirectly the deaths of tens of millions,” explained Fernando Valladares, Director of the Ecology and Global Change Group at the National Museum of Natural Sciences, who presented the report titled “What are we dying from?”.

More than a hundred experts from different sectors met for the first time to discuss how factors environmental they can influence the development of new pathologies or increase the frequency of already known diseases.

In this sense, according to experts, environmental factors They may be responsible for approximately 35% of all deaths that occur each year in the world.


Air pollution has been linked to the development of respiratory diseases such as COPD or asthma, cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, brain, lung or bladder cancer, and endocrine system problems (metabolic disorders), Valladares said.

Valladares stressed that “historically, life expectancy has increased due to scientific advances and medicine, but there has been a stagnation for several years, and various studies show that environmental degradation is happening faster than the progress of medicine.”

“Thus,” he added, “for the first time in 150 years, a generation of children will be able to live less years than their parents.”

“Society is increasingly aware of the relationship between the environment and health,” said Juan Antonio Ortega, Pediatric Environmental Health Unit (PEHSU) coordinator at the Virgen de la Arrixaca University Clinical Hospital in Murcia (South East). “The PEHSU Orbit: The Power of Good Health”.

Specialist with over 20 years of experience in pediatrics and ecologyadded that “it’s no longer strange for parents to ask what habits they should follow to protect their children. Now it is necessary to transfer what is already known into clinical practice and it will be necessary to create special units, at present there are very few in Spanish healthcare. Our task is not to humanize medicine, but to renaturalize it.”

Following this 1st International Meeting on Health and Environmental Diseases, HM Hospitales has joined the Kosma Observatory project, a multidisciplinary organization established in 2022 that aims to promote health, research, education, dissemination and innovation Y environmental diseases.


Source: RPP

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