The Cost of Air Pollution: Health Impacts of Road Transport OECD report released 21/05/2014
Air pollution is costing advanced economies (plus China and India) an estimated USD 3.5 trillion a year in premature deaths and ill health and the costs will rise without government action to limit vehicle emissions, this new OECD report says. Air pollution has now become the biggest environmental cause of premature death, overtaking poor sanitation and a lack of clean drinking water. 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.
In OECD countries, including Australia, around half the cost is from road transport, with diesel vehicles producing the most harmful emissions. Traffic exhaust is a growing threat in fast-expanding cities, as the steady increase in the number of cars and trucks on the road undermines efforts to curb vehicle emissions.
The Australian figures for air pollution related deaths has climbed by a staggering 56.47% between 2005 and 2010 (see http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/environment/the-cost-of-air-pollution_9789264210448-en )