Air pollution in São Paulo kills more people than car accidents, breast cancer, and AIDS combined

In the sprawling metropolis of São Paulo, Brazil, home to 20 million people and a lackluster public transportation system, fighting through road traffic is a part of everyday life for commuters. With some 7 million vehicles already clogging city streets, and about a thousand more being added daily, it’s not surprising that São Paulo offers a troubling example of how deadly car culture can be.

But while annual deaths from traffic accidents is quite high, it actually pales in comparison to another way cars are killing people — from pollution.

According to a study commissioned by the Institute of Health and Sustainability, 4,655 people died as a result of air pollution in São Paulo in 2011. In that same time period, traffic fatalities accounted for 1,556 deaths. The study also points out that pollution contributed to over twice as many deaths that year than both Aids (874) and breast cancer (1,277) combined.

São Paulo air pollution particulates average 20 to 25 micrograms per cubic meter; over twice what is deemed safe by the World Health Organization.

Across the entire state of São Paulo, air pollution has been cited as responsible for the deaths of nearly 100,000 people from 2006 to 2011 from respiratory illness. As more cars are added to the road, and likewise more people move into the dense urban centers, that number is likely to rise — both in Brazil, and throughout the world.

via Air pollution in São Paulo kills more people than car accidents, breast cancer, and AIDS combined : TreeHugger.

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2 Responses to Air pollution in São Paulo kills more people than car accidents, breast cancer, and AIDS combined

  1. CH.G says:

    Totally agree!! I can see that we have the same value about air pollution! The car culture that you term there which I myself term it as Car Ego, is the main problem for car pollution to exist. Instead of considering all travel modes and choosing the one that saves the most time and money, people prefer to drive even when it is not the best objective option. This setback can be overcome by introducing new knowledge and concept towards the public who are the main consumers. The public has a lower risk perception and understating of air pollution dangers and issue. I am here trying to help people getting more attention towards the problem as it is more and more crucial for the future generation. The future generation have the rights to breath better air.

    Please check out my blog with all the updates on pollution

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