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Air pollution cause of 1 in 8 deaths: Study

Air pollution cause of 1 in 8 deaths: Study

According to the study by the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative; one in every eight deaths in India last year could be attributed to air pollution, which now contributes to more disease burden than smoking.

It was published in The Lancet Planetary Health journal.

The states which recorded the highest exposure to particulate matter PM 2.5 were Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.

Highlights of the study:

State-Level Disease Burden Initiative, which offers the first comprehensive estimates of deaths, disease burden, and life expectancy reduction associated with air pollution in each state.

According to study; 12.4 lakh deaths in India in 2017 were attributable to air pollution — 6.7 lakh due to outdoor particulate matter and 4.8 lakh due to household air pollution.

Of these, over half were aged less than 70 years.

The estimates show that India, which accounts for 18 per cent of the global population, recorded a 26 per cent of the global premature deaths and disease burden due to air pollution.

Air Pollution: A Burden for the government

India has one of the highest annual average ambient particulate matter PM 2.5 exposure levels in the world.

In 2017, no state in India had an annual population weighted ambient particulate matter mean PM 2.5 less than the WHO recommended level of 10 µg/m³, and 77 per cent of India’s population was exposed to mean PM 2.5 more than 40 µg/m³, which is the recommended limit set by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards of India.

PM 2.5 particles are those that are suspended in air and have a diameter lesser than 2.5 microns.

While Delhi, Haryana and Punjab recorded the highest exposure to ambient particulate matter, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand recorded the highest levels of both ambient particulate matter and household air pollution.

According to the WHO database of air pollution, 14 of the 15 cities with the worst air pollution in the world are in India.

 

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