Global Commission on Pollution + Health

Commission Overview

The Commission on Pollution and Health is an initiative of The Lancetthe Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP), and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.  The Commission comprises many of the world’s most influential leaders, researchers and practitioners in the fields of pollution management, environmental health and sustainable development. 

The Report by the Commission on Pollution and Health will be published in The Lancet in the fall of 2017. The Report will analyze and communicate the massive scope of the health and economic costs of air, water and soil pollution. Through analyses of existing and emerging data, the Report will reveal pollution’s severe and underreported contribution to the Global Burden of Disease. It will uncover the economic costs of pollution to low- and middle-income countries, and compare the costs of inaction to the costs of available solutions. It will inform key decision makers around the world about the burden that pollution places on health and economic development, and about cost-effective pollution control solutions and strategies. The Commission will bring pollution squarely into the international development agenda.

Commission Partners

The Lancet is one of the world’s oldest and best known medical journals, publishing a weekly journal and nine monthly specialty journals in the fields of global health, diabetes and endocrinology, oncology, haematology, neurology, psychiatry, respiratory medicine, infectious diseases and HIV.

The Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP) is a collaborative body that facilitates the provision of technical and financial resources to governments and communities to reduce the impacts of pollution on health in low- and middle-income countries. GAHP members include World Bank, European Commission, UNEP, UNDP, UNIDO, Asian Development Bank, ministries of environment and health from around the world, and a host of civil society organizations. The non-profit organization Pure Earth (formerly Blacksmith Institute) is the Secretariat of GAHP and coordinates the work of the Commission. 

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is an international leader in medical and scientific training, biomedical research, and patient care. It is the medical school for the Mount Sinai Health System, which includes seven hospital campuses, and has more than 5,000 faculty and nearly 2,000 students, residents and fellows. 

Tell Your Pollution Story Campaign – Partnership with National Geographic Your Shot

To support the work of the Global Commission on Pollution, Health and Development, National Geographic is calling all photographers to #TellYourPollutionStory. Show us how your community is affected by pollution on a daily basis.

The report will bring to light the new evidence that pollution, in all its forms—air, water, and soil—is the leading cause of death and disability in the world, taking almost nine million lives every year. The majority of those deaths and disability—92 percent— occur in low- and middle-income countries. These are startling numbers that are hard to comprehend. But your images and captions will help transform this data into the many visible facets of human life and health being harmed by pollution.

Many forms of pollution are invisible, creating a challenge for photographers. Sometimes pollution is felt, not seen. Often it is not felt at all, but is still a serious, silent threat. We want to know what it looks like through your eyes and how pollution is impacting your community. Perhaps you’ve seen an environmental cleanup project, or have benefitted from a pollution control project. Show us what that is like.

The Your Shot editors will select their favorite hashtag entries to coincide with the publication of the commission’s report inn April 2017, right before Earth Day.

Crowdsourced Pollution Reporting via Global Pollution Map

The Commission on Pollution + Health  invites you to submit more detail about the pollution concerns in your community, and additional images, by visiting and clicking on “Tell Your Pollution Story.”

The Commission wants to know, through your words and images, how pollution has changed life in your community over the past 30 years.

  • Has globalization, economic and industrial growth brought increased pollution and changed local life?
  • Ask your community elders or grandparents for their perspective and old photos.
  • What did your area look like before these changes?
  • How has pollution altered the health issues you, your family, and your community are dealing with?
  • What are your concerns for the future?
  • Has any pollution been controlled or cleaned up in your neighborhood or village?
  • What impact did that have?
  • What remains to be cleaned up?
  • What do you want world leaders to know about your environmental concerns?

Entries will be displayed via a map and shared with leaders around the globe.