Science

Bad Air Killed Over 1.2 Mn In India In 2017

Bad Air Killed Over 1.2 Mn In India In 2017”

The overall long-term exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution contributed to almost five million deaths from stroke, diabetes, heart attack, lung cancer, and chronic lung disease in 2017.

Toxic air caused death of more than 1.2 million people in India in 2017, as per a global air pollution report released recently by a US-based organisation Health Effects Institute (HEI).

The study "State of Global Air 2019" reported that the life on average of a South Asian child growing up in current high levels of air pollution will be shortened by two years and six months.

But in South Asia, the report warns, children born today will have their lives cut short by nearly 30 months, because of a combination of outdoor air pollution caused by traffic, industry and dirty indoor air, largely from cooking fires. In 2017, India recorded 6,73,000 deaths and a loss of 21.3 million disability adjusted life years (DALYs) due to long term exposure to ambient air pollution less than the minimal level, whereas 8,52,000 Chinese died of it the same year and had 19.8 million DALYs.

The report also confirms what the new life expectancy is around the world, with Canadians now losing a quarter-of-a-year due to poor air quality.

Its conclusions illuminate what "we're seeing more and more of each year" in terms of health impacts stemming from air pollution, said Alastair Harper, head of advocacy at Unicef U.K., the British arm of the United Nations children's agency.

"Each year, more people die from air pollution-related disease than from road traffic injuries or malaria". "They have kept on pursuing this, they have dispatched government officials to these places to enforce, and air pollution has begun to turn a corner in China", he said.

"In much of the world, just breathing in an average city is the health equivalent to being a heavy smoker", he added in a statement.

For household air pollution, the research determined the main causes included the burning of smoky fuels such as wood or coal for cooking.

Broadly, this disparity between less and more developed countries on this form of pollution is seen across the world, with developing countries suffering PM2.5 exposures that are four to five times those of more-developed countries. Robert O'Keefe, vice president, Health Effects Institute, Boston, says: "India has initiated major steps to address pollution sources: the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana Household LPG programme, accelerated Bharat Stage VI vehicle standards, and the new National Clean Air Programme".

The number of air pollution deaths in China dropped from 2016 to 2017 but the Indian fatalities rose from 1.1 million to 1.2 million as the country's PM2.5 levels continued to rise.

Mostharmful air pollution comes from the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal - also a major cause of climate change - which China has continually pledged to reduce.

The report "brings into one place the latest information on air quality trends and health impact patterns for countries across the globe", he said.



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