Working or living in unhealthy conditions result in at least 1.4 million deaths across Europe each year, a new official study suggests.
The report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) says globally nearly a quarter of all deaths are down to people having to live or work in poor conditions.
That means, it says, things such as pollution, exposure to chemicals or too much sun and climate change result in around 12.6 million deaths around the world every year.
‘Governments need to act’
Dr Margaret Chan, director-general of the WHO, says millions of people will continue to become ill unless governments act to make people’s living and working environments more healthy.
Around the world air pollution – including second-hand tobacco smoke – account for more than eight million deaths each year.
The incidence of cancer, heart disease, stroke and chronic respiratory diseases, meanwhile, are all heavily influenced by environmental factors, it adds.
‘Accidents behind over a million deaths’
The WHO study goes on to estimate that around two-fifths of all asthma cases are linked to people living in unhealthy environments.
The number of cases could be cut by reducing air pollution and people’s exposure to second-hand smoke as well as mould and damp in their homes.
Source: World Health Organisation
Date Published: April 5, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown