April 9, 2013, U.N. announced that the health impact from air pollution has been underestimated and a shift to cleaner energy could easily halve the toll by 2030.
According to a 2012 WHO study found that 3.5 million people die early annually from indoor air pollution and 3.3 million from outdoor air pollution. Toxic particles shorten lives by causing diseases such as pneumonia and cancer. Most victims from indoor pollution, caused by wood fires and primitive stoves in developing nations, were women and children.
By comparison, U.N. reports show there were about 1.7 million AIDS-related deaths in 2011 and malaria killed about 660,000 people in 2010.
Besides life, air pollution also has a massive financial toll. In 2009, it has caused between 102 and 169 billion euros for European Union. According to European Environment Agency:
50% of the total damage cost occurs as a result of emissions from just 2 % of the approximately 10,000 facilities that reported data for releases to air.
3/4 of the total damage costs are caused by the emissions 6 % of the total number.