A new study by the World Health Organization has found 3 million deaths a year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution, with nearly 90 percent of those deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries like Cambodia. The WHO said Southeast Asia bears one of the heaviest burdens with 799,000 deaths – 7,000 in Cambodia alone – in 2012 linked to air pollution. The body noted that Cambodia’s rate of 32 deaths per 100,000 people each year was similar to the rates in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. Sopha Chum, the executive director of the Health and Development Alliance, said that the Cambodian government was not ready to respond to air pollution. “It’s time for the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health to start raising awareness to key political leaders to understand the risks and prepare action to reduce the risks,” he said.