N.K. world-highest in air-pollution mortality

SEOUL-- North Korea's mortality due to air pollution is the world's highest, with 238 per 100,000 population dying because of poor air quality, a U.S. broadcaster said Thursday.

The North's rate is 2.6 times higher than the world average and more than 10 times higher than South Korea's 23.2 per 100,000, Voice of America said, citing the 2017 World Health Statistics (WHS), recently published by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHS is the WHO's annual compilation of health statistics for its 194 member states.

The rate is also far higher than that of other neighboring countries -- China (161) and Japan (24), the broadcaster said.

The U.N. agency pointed out that about 3 billion people around the world are still using coal, wood or charcoal for heating and cooking, which leads to serious indoor air pollution, the broadcaster said.

Air pollution causes cardiovascular, chronic obstructive pulmonary and respiratory diseases and lung cancer.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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