The deadly human cost of your cellphone, calculated
A new international study sheds light on a disturbing reality. Consumers in the west are indirectly contributing to the deaths of people in the countries where those products are made.
The study estimates that 3.45 million premature deaths are the result of air pollution, and that 22 per cent, or approximately 760,000 of those deaths can be linked to consumer goods produced in one part of the world for consumption in another. The research focused specifically on fine particulate matter, or PM 2.5.
- Spanish conquistadors brought air pollution
- For many the milky way is out of sight
- In Florida, the thunderstorms rain down mercury
In the paper, Dr. Steven Davis and his co-researchers lay out evidence that they say might be considered in decisions made by policy makers, and global governance bodies.
And consumers might think twice the next time they swap their cell phones for the latest model, or buy cheap sunglasses from a dollar store.
"Transboundary health impacts of transported global air pollution and international trade" is published in Nature Letters.