Pollution costs China 25 million years annually

Published on Author paulsen

Give the past year’s record levels of air pollution, a new study examining leading causes of death worldwide stated that outdoor air pollution in China contributed to 1.2 million premature deaths in 2010.  This figure reconfigured amounts to 25 million healthy years lost.  This is the fourth largest cause of death in China, after “dietary risks, high blood pressure, and smoking.”  This estimate also greatly exceeds that of a 2007 report entitled “Cost of Pollution in China,” which estimated yearly premature deaths at 350,000-400,000 annually.  Additionally, this statistic varies substantially with the WHO assessment of premature pollution deaths, a figure the organization puts at 1.3 million premature deaths per year globally.  These varied assessments demonstrate the difficulty faced by health organizations in determining what exactly defines a pollution casualty.  It often can be difficult to determine exactly what is caused by air pollution versus other pollution sources or tobacco. Ultimately, the pollution issue is one that the Chinese government will be forced to face by a population that is increasingly affluent and therefore likely to demand reform, even as some within the government feel threatened by an increasingly publicized pollution problem.


One Response to Pollution costs China 25 million years annually

  1. There’s a fairly large public health literature on this, but of course analysis depends on getting reasonably detailed reports on sources of hospitalization, and estimates of those affected by not hospitalized. Ditto mortality. All of this is made harder by the high level of tobacco consumption and (at least until recently) the use of smoky cooking stoves with no inside ventilation in housing. Still, it’s easy enough to read up on this topic, we have access to the public health literature through Leyburn’s journal subscriptions.