WASHINGTON -- An estimated seven million people around the world in 2012 died prematurely as a result of air pollution– making dirty air the largest single environmental health risk we face, the World Health Organization reported today. The mortality rate more than doubles the organization’s previous estimate.
The following is a statement by Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council:
“This alarming news should spur policymakers from Washington to Beijing to take immediate and more vigorous actions to limit the toxic brew in our air, from ozone and mercury to lead and carbon dioxide emissions from our vehicles and power plants.
“The WHO is telling us that it is in our power to save millions of people from dying prematurely from cancer, heart diseases, strokes and respiratory ailments. We owe it to ourselves and future generations. Let’s get busy.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.