Aircraft emissions responsible for ‘16,000 deaths per year’

aviation responsible for 1000s of deaths each yearAir pollution caused by emissions from civil aircraft may cause the early deaths of up to 16,000 people each year worldwide, according to a new study just released in the US.  The study’s authors –  from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – say their work is the first to analyse air quality and human health impacts of aviation at three different scales – local level (less than 1km from airport), near-airport level (less than 10km) and global (up to 10,000km from source).

According to the study’s authors, the societal costs of aviation air pollution “are on the same order of magnitude as global aviation-attributable climate costs, and one order of magnitude larger than aviation-attributable accident and noise costs”.

In Brief

The study found that the majority (87%) of the calculated 16,000 deaths per year from aviation emissions were attributable specifically to PM2.5.

It estimated an approximate US$21 billion (£13.5 billion) global economic cost from these deaths, with the highest cost being in Europe at more than US$9 billion (£5.8 billion).

The study found that around a quarter (roughly 4,000) of the overall estimated deaths could be linked to emissions from aircraft landing and take-off.

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Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith is the editor and co-founder of Travindy. He is a writer and communications consultant working for a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry. He is the author of two books, writes a fortnightly blog on responsible tourism for World Travel Market, and provides consultancy to a wide range of companies and organisations, ranging from National Parks to individual hotels and tour operators.

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