In control of ambient and household air pollution - how low should we go?
918 - 920
Lancet Respir Med
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The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health is a robust call to arms. Stark in its warnings, but brimming with optimism, this report emphasises that pollution is the world's largest environmental cause of poor health today, responsible for 9 million deaths a year and a large burden of non-communicable disease, including respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological impairment. Using data from the Global Burden of Disease study,1 the Commission emphasises that air pollution results in a greater health burden than water, soil, or occupational exposures. Air pollution, combining both ambient and household air pollution (HAP), is responsible for 6·5 million deaths per year (with another 7 million from tobacco smoke) and this number will increase if urgent measures are not taken. The most affected people will be children and older people, especially in low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC), but particularly in cities (55% of the global population), as 98% of urban areas in developing countries do not currently meet accepted air quality standards.