Editorial consultant: Vivien Stone
World Health Organization, 2017
Common, preventable risk factors, such as physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and the harmful use of alcohol and tobacco consumption, have long been recognized risks to health. What is less well known is that environmental factors are also main causes of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs); ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution together caused more than 6 million deaths from cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and lung cancer in 2012. Other important environmental risks include second-hand tobacco smoke, exposure to chemicals, radiation and noise, and occupational risks. Achieving a healthy and sustainable environment is a key ingredient for preventing disease and enabling viable health care.