World Health Organization ranks countries’ environmental health

To those who think environmentalism is all about prioritizing starfish over humans, read on: Cleaning up the globe’s air and water could save 13 million lives every year, according to the World Health Organization. Yesterday, WHO released a country-by-country analysis of health issues in 192 nations, factoring in agricultural methods, noise pollution, workplace hazards, climate change, and more. In 23 countries, more than 10 percent of deaths could be traced to just two fixable factors: unsafe water and indoor air pollution from cooking fires. Poverty-stricken Angola, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Afghanistan fared the worst in the rankings, but environmental health is of course an issue in developed countries too; the report indicated that 1.8 million lives could be saved annually in 53 countries around Europe if a healthy environment was prioritized. Iceland and Israel keep their people the healthiest, according to WHO, followed by Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Britain, and the U.S.