Premature deaths due to air pollution are costing the global economy $5.1tn annually, with more than half of that burden falling on China and other developing economies in Asia, according to a study by the World Bank. An estimated 5.5m lives were lost to diseases associated with air pollution in 2013, the latest year for which global data are available. More than 90% of those premature deaths attributed to air pollution occurred in developing countries, with children under 5 in lower income countries 60 times as likely to die from exposure to bad air as in high-income countries. In 1990 there was $2.6tn in welfare losses from air pollution around the world with East Asia accounting for about a quarter of that, according to the Financial Times.
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