Philip Landrigan, a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York City, who jointly led the international research, said: “Pollution is much more than an environmental challenge — it is a profound and pervasive threat that affects many aspects of human health and wellbeing.”

“It deserves the full attention of international leaders, civil society, health professionals, and people around the world. Despite its far-reaching effects on health, the economy and the environment, pollution has been neglected in the international assistance and the global health agendas, and some control strategies have been deeply underfunded.”

Air pollution was found to have had the biggest impact on people across the world, with dirty air accounting for around 6.5 million premature deaths in 2015. Meantime, water pollution was responsible for 1.8 million fatalities, while work-related pollution — which caused 800,000 deaths two years ago — posed the next largest risk, the report said.

While Brunei and Sweden had the lowest numbers of pollution-related fatalities, the report found Somalia and Bangladesh were the worst affected.

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