Air pollution is the single greatest environmental cause of preventable disease and premature death in the world today. It ranks alongside unhealthy diets, inadequate physical activity, and tobacco smoking, as a major global risk factor for mortality. Globally, air pollution is responsible for approximately 7 million premature deaths each year. In Australia annual mortality is conservatively estimated to be more than 3,200 with a cost greater than AUD $6.2 billion from years of life lost. However, the full health and social impacts are much more extensive. This report explains why the effects of air pollution are so far reaching and, equally, why coordinated action to make air safer is one of the best investments in Australian health.
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