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Air Pollution is Responsible for 3 Million Premature Deaths a Year

Air quality has certainly improved in the U.S. over the last few decades—thanks to the Clean Air Act—but it’s still one of the top health concerns around the world. A new report compiled by global health professionals pegs the toll of outdoor air pollution at a staggering 3.2 million premature deaths a year.

Particulate pollution like soot does the most damage, especially in the booming smog-choked cities across Asia. The report, published in the Lancet, finds that outdoor air pollution is the No. 4 health risk there, right behind smoking. Here in the U.S., it’s still a major threat too, despite our progress since the sooty seventies. The report asserts that air pollution is the 8th greatest danger to premature birth worldwide.

The NRDC explains how it is that air pollution is so deadly:
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