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Occupational diseases and accidents cause the death of 1.9 million people every year, and in more than a third of the cases the death is linked to long working hours, warns a joint study by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).
The study, the first of its kind by the two organizations, points to exposure to air pollution as another important risk factor, as it is linked to 450,000 deaths annually.
The study, which uses data prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (from up to 2016), takes into account 19 occupational risk factors, including exposure to asbestos (linked to more than 200,000 deaths each year) and to a lesser extent to substances such as cadmium, arsenic, beryllium, nickel, silica, or formaldehydes.
According to the WHO and ILO, some 450,000 of these annual deaths are caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 400,000 from strokes, 360,000 due to trauma and 350,000 by ischemic heart disease (narrowing of the coronary arteries).
The study concludes that work-related deaths linked to heart disease increased by 41% between 2000 and 2016, while those linked to stroke grew by 19% over the same period.
According to the @WHO and ILO joint estimates, the risk factors at work that cause the most deaths annually are
��long working hours ��air pollution, gases & fumes ��injuries.