Air pollution to kill millions more without energy policy change: IEA

By:  NINA CHESTNEY

Premature deaths from air pollution will continue to rise to 2040 unless changes are made to the way the world uses and produces energy, the International Energy Agency said on Monday.

Around 6.5 million deaths globally are attributed each year to poor air quality inside and outside, making it the world's fourth-largest threat to human health, behind high blood pressure, dietary risks and smoking.

Harmful pollutants such as particulate matter - which can contain acids, metals, soil and dust particles - sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides, are responsible for the most widespread effects of air pollution.

Tiny particulate matter can cause lung cancer, strokes and heart disease over the long term, as well as trigger symptoms such as heart attacks that kill more rapidly.

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