Nearly half a million people die each year from complications related to China’s air pollution. (Credit: BriYYZ/CC BY-SA 2.0)
Physicists from the University of California, Berkeley, have calculated that air pollution in China can be linked to the deaths of around 4,000 Chinese each day, according to The Guardian. They considered measurements of air quality that they plugged into models to make the accounting.
Scientists mostly blame emissions from coal burning for the poor air quality in the study published in the journal PLOS ONE. They note that coal is not just burned to generate electricity in China, but also as a way to cheaply heat homes. Other types of emissions and pollutants were considered in their models as well.
Study authors say that 38 percent of all Chinese live in an area with air quality that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would deem unhealthy. The proximity, according to the computer simulations, is a factor in deaths from strokes, as well as heart and lung illnesses in China that kill about 1.6 million people every year.
Top image: Nearly half a million people die each year from complications related to China’s air pollution. (Credit: BriYYZ/CC BY-SA 2.0)