Kuala Lumpur — Most people in South and Southeast Asia do not know about the diverse causes and long-term health risks of air pollution, a problem that kills 1.5-million people in those regions each year, researchers warned on Thursday. A study by Vital Strategies, a public health advisory group, analysed more than half a million news articles and social media posts on air pollution in 11 countries across southern Asia between 2015 and 2018. “We see a lot of air pollution content in relation to the environment, climate change or deforestation, but not a lot that links it to health,” said Aanchal Mehta, the report’s lead author. Air pollution kills about 7-million people prematurely each year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), with 1.5-million of those deaths in South and Southeast Asia. Nine out of 10 people breathe polluted air, according to the WHO, a problem that affects more cities in Asia than anywhere else in the world. The health impact of air pollution is lin...

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