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Report claims air pollution “kills thousands”, costs billions annually

Jack Burton



PHOTO: Smog blankets Bangkok - Nation Thailand

“In mere months, major cities around the world have lost tens of thousands of lives and well into the tens of billions of dollars in economic productivity.”

New data released by environmental groups makes claims that air pollution in Bangkok alone has caused some 6,800 deaths and an economic loss of 81.4 billion baht so far this year. The data, released online earlier by the Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, Greenpeace – Southeast Asia and the real-time air quality monitor IQAir Air Visual, measured smog in 28 major cities worldwide and used models devised by the Global Burden of Disease research program to estimate the health impact.

According to the report, 4.5 million premature deaths each year due to air pollution are from fossil fuels, including 40,000 deaths of children under 5.

Elevated air pollution is linked with numerous diseases, including heart disease and lung cancer. The economic impact was calculated by estimating work absences and years lost due to illness on a per capita basis. According to the report, Bangkok suffered an estimated 6,800 pollution-related deaths from January to June.

The same data estimated 29,000 deaths in Tokyo in the same period linked to air pollution, resulting in an economic cost of US$32 billion (1 trillion baht).

In China, air pollution in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou was responsible for a combined 59,000 deaths and US$27.7 billion (868 billion baht) in losses.

Despite India recording its first drop in carbon emissions in almost 40 years, Delhi suffered an estimated 24,000 deaths due to air pollution, and took a US$3.6 billion (113 billion baht) hit to its economy.

“Powered by data from the IQAir AirVisual air quality data platform, the Cost of Air Pollution Counter tracks the number of lives lost and economic productivity, as calculated in gross domestic product, or GDP, in real time as of the beginning of the calendar year”.

“The counter’s algorithm combines real-time measurement data of ground-level air quality managed by the IQAir AirVisual air quality database with scientific risk models as well as population and health data to estimate how costly air pollution from PM2.5 and NO2 has been since January 1, 2020”.

SOURCE: thaivisa | iqair


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  1. Avatar


    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    Pollution kills thousands yet the priority given to the “virus” doesn’t seem proportional does it?

  2. Avatar


    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    6800 deaths this year due to air pollution…..and nothing is done about it. 58 deaths from Covid and the country shuts down!!! Hmmmm

  3. Avatar

    Edy F.

    Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 12:16 am

    Air pollution is one of the real causes of death by the supposed virus covid19, which nobody has seen until now.
    Covid19 is the biggest cheat the world has ever known.
    You can ask yourself why ?
    A very well orchestrated plan for a world dictature..

  4. Avatar

    paul scott

    Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    Agreed entirely with the comments above. Surely to scare us all, even more, all environmental deaths should be labelled as Sars-Covid 1984.

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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