(CNN) — More than two million people are dying every year from the effects of outdoor air pollution, according to a new study.
An estimated 2.1 million deaths are caused by anthropogenic increases of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) while a further 470,000 are killed annually as a result of human-caused increases in ozone pollution.
Jason West, co-author of the study published in the journal of Environmental Research Letters said: “Outdoorair pollution is an important problem and among the most important environmental risk factors for health.”
East Asia is the worst affected area with researchers estimating more than a million people dying prematurely every year from PM2.5 pollution and 203,000 from ozone pollution.
India has the second highest air pollution mortality rates with an estimated 397,000 deaths from fine particulates and ozone accounting for, on average, 118,000.
Next comes Southeast Asia which has estimated average of 158,000 deaths from PM2.5 and 33,300 attributed to ozone.
Europe has fractionally less PM2.5 deaths (154,000, on average) and 32,800 premature deaths related to ozone while in North America there were an average of 43,000 deaths from fine particulates and 34,400 related to ozone.
West used an ensemble of global atmospheric chemistry climate models to estimate concentrations of PM2.5 and ozone pollutants.