United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Global Alliance on Health and Pollution





Data from the WHO and the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution show exposures to polluted soil, water and air (both indoor and outdoor) resulted in 8.4 million deaths in 2012 in LMICs.

However, the current text of the health SDG Section 3.9 only addresses indoor and outdoor pollution. As pollution is the largest cause of death in low- and middle-income countries, it is appropriate that the Health SDG prioritizes and addresses the health impacts from all types of pollution.



GAHP proposes the following target and indicators under the SDG Health Goal: Attain healthy life and wellbeing for all at all ages.


Target: By 2030, (From the baseline of 2012) reduce by two-thirds (or x %) the number of deaths and disability from pollution of air (indoor and outdoor), soil and water.

We also suggest that the word 'pollution' be incorporated into the MoIs at 17.14


Inclusion of this is endorsed or supported by members of the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution, as well as the capitals and delegates of at least the following countries:

Cameroon, the European Commission, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Togo, the United States, Uruguay, UNEP, UNDP, UNIDO, Vietnam, the World Bank and others.

Indicators for this target are well developed – please see next page.  
Indicators:
1. Chronic Obstructed Pulmonary Disease (COPD) rates
2. Asthma and childhood pneumonia rates
3. Liver, bladder, and kidney cancer rates.
4. Blood lead (Pb) levels
5. Diarrheal disease rates
6. Unintentional poisonings
7. Air and water quality monitoring networks, pollution release inventories, and lead monitoring systems

The first six indicators measure both Death and DALYs. A DALY is a year lost of useful life (from disability and/or death), and is a more useful metric than death alone.

Two agencies, the World Health Organization and University of Washington's Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE) capture this most of this data country by country.


The proposed indicators correlate to the following types of pollution.

Indicator Metric Pollution Type
COPD rates Death and DALYs Outdoor Air
Asthma & Childhood pneumonia rates Death and DALYs Indoor Air
Liver, bladder and kidney cancer rates Death and DALYs Contaminated water and soil
Blood lead (Pb) levels Death and DALYs Contaminated soil
Diarrheal disease rates Death and DALYs Contaminated water
Unintentional poisonings Death and DALYs Contaminated food and household products
Air and water quality monitoring networks, pollution release inventories, and lead monitoring systems Country progress All types


Inclusion of this text will save millions of lives in the coming years.