New research has found that more than 5.5 million people die due to outdoor and household air pollution, which is quickly becoming one of the biggest risk factors when it comes to disease and long-term illness, according to TIME.
Research from the American Association for the Advancement of Science also suggests that this number will continue to rise over the next few decades.
These findings also show that more than 3 million of these deaths occur in China and India, The Christian Science Monitor reported.
"Air pollution is the fourth highest risk factor for death globally and by far the leading environmental risk factor for disease. Reducing air pollution is an incredibly efficient way to improve the health of a population," said Dr. Michael Brauer of the University of British Columbia's School of Population and Public Health in Vancouver, Canada.
The three worldwide risk factors ahead of air pollution are high blood pressure, diet, and smoking, according to the Associated Press.
In places like China and India, where these premature deaths are so frequent, there is a substantial amount of coal, wood and biomass burning. It is this coal burning that causes such poor air quality.
Officials and scientists around the world hope that these numbers catch peoples' attentions and causes worldwide change in attitude toward air pollution.