Global Observatory on Pollution and Health
The Global Observatory on Pollution and Health continues the work of the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, which reported in 2018 that pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today, responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths per year.
A key message of the Lancet Commission is that pollution can be prevented. The Commission found that the tools needed to control pollution exist today. These tools are based on law, policy, science, and technology. They are highly cost-eﬀective. They were first developed in high-income countries, but are now ready to be brought to global scale and applied in countries at every level of development. Their deployment will prevent disease, save lives and boost economies.
To monitor progress toward pollution control and disease prevention, the Lancet Commission called for formation of a Global Observatory on Pollution and Health.
This Global Observatory on Pollution and Health was established in the Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society at Boston College at Boston College in 2018. Its core mission is to aggregate, archive, and analyze data on pollution and pollution-related disease in cities and countries around the world.
· It examines data on pollution and disease to discern trends, geographic patterns, and opportunities for intervention.
· It uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to generate pollution and disease maps.
· It conducts economic studies to estimate the costs of the disease and environmental degradation produced by pollution and the economic benefits to be achieved through pollution control.
· It draws on data from multiple sources including the Global Burden of Disease study, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, Google Earth, the U.S. Geological Survey, and CDC’s National Biomonitoring Program.
The Observatory makes its findings widely available to researchers, policy makers, civil society, the media and the global public through a series of carefully curated, impactful reports.
To advance its work, the Observatory has established formal partnerships in research with UN Environment and the Centre Scientifique de Monaco.
The Observatory’s work is intended to guide research on pollution and its health effects; close gaps in knowledge; inform the development of energy and environmental policy; and assist cities and countries to identify their worst forms of pollution, prioritize interventions, track progress toward pollution control, and ultimately save lives.