Study: Air pollution is killing 4,000 people in China every day
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Study: Air pollution is killing 4,000 people in China every day

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study shows that air pollution is killing about 4,000 people in China a day, accounting for 1 in 6 premature deaths in the world’s most populous country.

Physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, calculated that about 1.6 million people in China die each year from heart, lung and stroke problems because of incredibly polluted air, especially small particles of haze.

(READ MORE: China gets tough on pollution, faces uphill battle)

Earlier studies put the annual Chinese air pollution death toll at 1 to 2 million, but this is the first to use newly released Chinese air monitoring figures.

Study lead author Robert Rohde said that 38 percent of the Chinese population has a long-term air quality average that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls “unhealthy.” He said coal is the chief polluter.

The study was released Thursday.