OECD report says dirty air will become biggest cause of premature death, killing an estimated 3.6 million people a year by 2050.

This article titled “Air pollution ‘will become bigger global killer than dirty water'” was written by Fiona Harvey, for guardian.co.uk on Thursday 15th March 2012 17.44 UTC

Urban air pollution is set to become the biggest environmental cause of premature death in the coming decades, overtaking even such mass killers as poor sanitation and a lack of clean drinking water, according to a new report.

Both developed and developing countries will be hit, and by 2050, there could be 3.6 million premature deaths a year from exposure to particulate matter, most of them in China and India. But rich countries will suffer worse effects from exposure to ground-level ozone, because of their ageing populations – older people are more susceptible.

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