Approximately 1 in 10 premature deaths worldwide during 2019 were linked to pollution, according to a new report by the Lancet Commission. It says 9 million people died during the year due to breathing toxic outside air and from lead poisoning.
Pollution is an “existential threat to human health and planetary health, and jeopardises the sustainability of modern societies,” the report concludes. While pollution rarely kills immediately, it does trigger heart disease, cancer, respiratory problems, diarrhea and other serious illnesses, according to the report.
South Asia’s blistering heat wave worsened, with temperatures soaring to above 51 degrees Celsius in parts of Pakistan. The heat is evaporating water supplies and causing misery among those who have to work outdoors.
“It’s like fire burning all around,” Jacobabad, Pakistan, labourer Shafi Mohammed told AFP. Farmers in the Cholistan Desert report that some of their sheep have died from heatstroke and dehydration. But relief could be on the way, with cooling monsoon rains predicted to initially reach southern India earlier than normal on May 27.