Environmental toxins account for 12.6 million deaths globally, according to a new World Health Organization report.

The WHO said the number of people estimated to have died as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment is bigger than expected, representing one in four of all deaths globally, the Washington Post reports.

The report underscores the devastating impact of the chemicals and waste pumped into the air, water, and Earth since World War II.

Deaths due to non-communicable diseases, including heart disease and cancer, that are related to pollution exposures make up 8.2 million or nearly two-thirds of the total deaths.

Deaths from infectious diseases, such as malaria and diarrhea, tied to unsafe water and lack of sanitation represent one-third of the total.

"If countries do not take actions to make environments where people live and work healthy, millions will continue to become ill and die too young," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said.

Reference: http://www.newsmax.com/Health/Health-News/environmental-toxin-deaths/2016/04/05/id/722426/

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