Air pollution takes an enormous toll on countries across the world according to a report by the OECD. In terms of human cost, about 3 million people are killed globally due to air pollution!.
One of the main causes of air pollution is vehicles especially automobiles. Countries with high car ownership for transport tend to have high pollution and the misery that goes with it such as death, diseases, etc.
The following chart shows that the US ranks the top in air pollution among OECD nations. This is not surprising since the country is addicted to cars. Other than the major cities. the rest of the country has no meaningful public transportation forcing Americans to use cars as the main mode of transportation. Accordingly the society has accepted to pay a heavy price in terms of lives lost, human suffering, health care cost, etc.
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Here is an infographic on the health impacts of road transport:
Globally China and India top the ranking in number of deaths. As these countries embrace automobiles for personal transportation, air pollution is bound to increase.
The research report noted “In most OECD countries, the death toll from heart and lung diseases caused by air pollution is much higher than the one from traffic accidents.”
Source: The Cost of Air Pollution, OECD