GENEVA – Some 1.5 million people die every year as a result of pollution in their own homes when coal, wood, dung and other solid fuels are burned for cooking and heating, the World Health Organization said Monday.
Eighty percent of worldwide deaths from indoor air pollution occur in 11 countries -- Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, China, Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Tanzania -- WHO said in a statement.
The agency said the use of solid fuels is among the top ten threats to public health worldwide.
Exposure to polluted air can cause diseases ranging from pneumonia to chronic respiratory sickness, the global health body said.
"A shift towards cleaner and more efficient modern fuels, such as biogas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene could largely eliminate this health risk and prevent 1.5 million deaths a year globally," WHO said.