TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A new World Health Organization (WHO) report discovered that air pollution had caused the deaths of seven million people worldwide in 2012.
"Air pollution, and we're talking about both indoors and outdoors, is now the biggest environmental health problem, and it's affecting everyone, both developed and developing countries," said Maria Neira, the WHO's public and environmental health chairman.
Air pollution is often linked to terminal ilness and severe diseases such as heart disease, stroke, pulmonary disease and lung cancer.
Southeast Asia, which includes Indonesia and the Western Pacific ranging from China and South Korea to Japan and the Philippines, were accounted for 5.9 million deaths alone.
Around four million deaths were caused by indoor air pollution, which comes from cooking using coal, wood and biomass stoves, while around three million deaths were due to outdoor air, with sources from coal heating fires and diesel engines.
Neira said that the numbers are shocking and worrying. In 2008, deaths caused by indoor air pollution were only 1.9 million, while outdoor pollution caused more than 1.3 million deaths.
ANINGTIAS JATMIKA | TELEGRAPH