According to the study, air pollution coming from industry processes and urbanization increased pollution-related deaths from 2015 to 2019 by 7%.

Richard Fuller, a study co-author and head of the global nonprofit Pure Earth, said that "we're sitting in the stew pot and slowly burning."

According to Reuters, an earlier version of the study from 2017 estimated that pollution took about 9 million lives per year, which was about one in six deaths worldwide.

Additionally, pollution costed the global economy as much as 4.6 trillion dollars per year.

To put things into perspective, pollution has about the same death ratio as smoking on a global level, while Covid-19 took around 6.7 million deaths around the world since the beginning of the pandemic.

The authors, who published the study in the online journal Lancet Planetary, analyzed data from 2019 coming from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD), which is an ongoing study done by experts at University of Washington that looks into pollution exposure and mortality risk associated with it.

Deaths related to traditional pollutants, which include tainted water and soil and dirty indoor air, are declining on a global scale, but they still pose a threat to the African continent and some developing countries.

Chad, the Central African Republic and Niger are the first three countries with regards to pollution-related deaths, according to data adjusted for population.

Efforts done by some states to decrease pollution-related deaths have worked in some countries, such as Ethiopia and Nigeria, where deaths linked to pollution have fallen by two-thirds between 2000 and 2019.

The Indian government took action against poor air quality in 2016, when officials began offering the replacement of wood-burning stoves with gas-powered stoves.

This doesn't mean that we're out of the danger zone, though, since modern pollutants, such as heavy metals, agrochemicals and fossil fuel emissions are killing more people than ever before, with the death rate increasing by 66% since 2000.

The authors say that while in small cities pollution levels are still increasing, there are still some capitals that have mitigated the effects of air pollution, including Bangkok, Beijing and Mexico City.

Among the ten countries most affected by pollution related deaths are Somalia, South Africa, Bulgaria and North Korea.