Report Solutions and Recommendations

The aim of The Lancet Commission on Pollution & Health is to raise the global awareness, resources and political will needed to address pollution. To advance this aim, recommendations are presented at the conclusion of each section in the report. Here are the highlighted solutions:

* Six Recommendations from the Report
* 12-Step Roadmap to Pollution Control
* Actions for Governments
* Actions for Donors, Foundations, and Individual philanthropists
* Actions for People Affected by Pollution
* Examples of Solutions for Mercury and Lead

Six Report Recommendations



  1. Elevate pollution as a national and international priority, and integrate it into country and city planning processes.

Pollution can no longer be viewed solely as an environmental issue. It now affects the health and well-being of entire societies. Government leaders at all levels should prioritize pollution control within their agendas; integrate pollution control into development planning; and link pollution prevention to commitments on the SDGs, climate change, and non-communicable disease control.

  1. Increase funding for pollution control and prioritize by health impacts

The level of funding for pollution control in low- and middle-income countries is meager and should be substantially increased, both within national budgets and among international development agencies.

International support for pollution control is most effective when it leverages additional actions and funding by others. Examples include support for pollution prioritization and planning processes within rapidly industrializing cities and countries; regulatory and enforcement assistance; building technical capacity; and supporting direct interventions to save lives. Financing programs should be monitored to assess cost-effectiveness and to enhance accountability.

  1. Establish systems to monitor pollution and its health effects.

Data collected at the local and national levels are essential for measuring pollution levels, identifying and apportioning pollution sources, evaluating interventions, guiding enforcement, informing civil society and the public, and assessing progress toward goals. The incorporation of new technologies such as satellite imaging and data mining into pollution monitoring can increase efficiency, expand geographic range, and lower costs.

  1. Build multi-sectoral partnerships for pollution control.

Inter-agency partnerships and public-private collaborations can proved to be effective tools in the development of clean energy sources and clean technologies that ultimately will prevent pollution at the source. Cross-ministerial collaborations that involve Health and Environment Ministries, but also Ministries of Finance, Energy, Agriculture, Development, and Transport are essential.

  1. Integrate pollution mitigation into planning processes for non-communicable diseases.

Interventions against pollution need to be a core component of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases.

  1. Conduct research into pollution’s impacts and pollution control.

Research is needed to understand and control pollution and to support change in pollution policy. Pollution-related research (research of the “pollutome”) should:

  • Explore emerging causal links between pollutants, diseases, and subclinical impairment, for example between ambient air pollution and dysfunction of the central nervous system in children and in the elderly;
  • Quantify the burden of disease associated with known toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury, chromium, arsenic, asbestos, and benzene.
  • Characterize the health impacts from newer chemical pollutants such as developmental neurotoxicants, endocrine disruptors, novel insecticides, chemical herbicides, and pharmaceutical wastes;
  • Identify and map pollution exposures in low- and middle-income countries;
  • Improve estimates of the economic costs of pollution and pollution; and
  • Improve estimates of the cost of inaction and returns from interventions.

12-Step Roadmap To Pollution Control

The report from The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health includes short, medium and long-term solutions. Click here to download infographics, see highlights of 12 key strategies for countries and cities to reduce pollution and save lives.

Actions for Governments

  • Integrate pollution challenges and control strategies into planning processes; prioritize programs according to health and economic impact.
  • Ask for support from development assistance agencies.
  • Design and implement programs that reduce pollution and save lives.

Actions for Donors, Foundations, and Individual Philanthropists:

  • Include pollution planning, interventions and research in their strategies.

Actions for People Affected by Pollution:

  • Visit to review data related to toxic exposures in their neighborhoods, document and upload their own stories, connect with agencies that can help with solutions.

Examples of Solutions For Mercury and Lead

Pure Earth’s global mercury and lead programs have conducted more than 1,000 field assessments of sites contaminated with lead, more than 500 field assessments of sites contaminated with mercury, and successfully completed multiple cleanups in communities worldwide. The proven strategies that have been developed to eliminate lead and mercury, and to reduce health risks, can be scaled and replicated. Learn more, see project examples, and download our guide.


Partnering to Solve Pollution Problems