One out of 8 deaths due to air pol­lu­tion in In­dia: re­port

Mint ST - - POLICY -

Met­rics and Eval­u­a­tion (IHME), in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the health min­istry. The find­ings have also been pub­lished in The Lancet Plan­e­tary Health.

About 77% of the pop­u­lace is ex­posed to out­door air pol­lu­tion lev­els breach­ing the safe limit set by the Na­tional Am­bi­ent Air Qual­ity Stan­dards, said the re­port. North In­dia recorded par­tic­u­larly high lev­els of pol­lu­tants.

In 2017, the mean am­bi­ent par­tic­u­late mat­ter PM2.5 an­nual ex­po­sure of 90 g/m3 was one of the high­est in the world. The high­est PM2.5 ex­po­sure level was in Delhi, fol­lowed by Ut­tar Pradesh, Bi­har and Haryana. The re­port said 1.24 mil­lion deaths in In­dia in 2017 were due to air pol­lu­tion, which in­cluded 670,000 deaths due to out­door par­ticu- About 77% of the pop­u­lace is ex­posed to un­safe air qual­ity lev­els, re­port said

The high­est PM2.5 ex­po­sure level was in Delhi, fol­lowed by UP, Bi­har and Haryana

Air pol­lu­tion has low­ered the av­er­age life ex­pectancy of peo­ple by 1.7 years

Half the deaths claimed peo­ple be­low 70 years

late mat­ter air pol­lu­tion and 480,000 deaths due to house­hold air pol­lu­tion.

The av­er­age life ex­pectancy in In­dia would have been 1.7 years higher if air pol­lu­tion lev­els were less than the min­i­mal level caus­ing health loss. The high­est in­crease was in Ra­jasthan (2.5 years), Ut­tar Pradesh (2.2 years), and Haryana (2.1 years), it added.

“The up­surge in res­pi­ra­tory prob­lems in the win­ter months with peak air pol­lu­tion is well

1.24 mil­lion deaths in In­dia in 2017 were due to air pol­lu­tion, the re­port said

26% of pre­ma­ture mor­tal­ity caused by air pol­lu­tion

known, but what is now also be­com­ing bet­ter un­der­stood is that air pol­lu­tion is a year­round phe­nom­e­non par­tic­u­larly in north In­dia which causes health im­pacts far beyond the sea­sonal rise of res­pi­ra­tory ill­nesses,” said Ran­deep Gu­le­ria, di­rec­tor, All In­dia In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Sciences (AIIMS).

“Air pol­lu­tion is now the lead­ing risk fac­tor for chronic ob­struc­tive lung dis­ease in In­dia, and a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to pneu­mo­nia and lung can­cer. With 18% of the global pop­u­la­tion, In­dia suf­fered 26% of pre­ma­ture mor­tal­ity and health loss at­trib­ut­able to air pol­lu­tion glob­ally.”

The re­port also said that over half of deaths due to air pol­lu­tion claimed peo­ple be­low 70 years. Air pol­lu­tion now con­trib­utes more to the dis­ease bur­den in In­dia than to­bacco use, pri­mar­ily by caus­ing lower res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tions, chronic ob­struc­tive lung dis­ease, heart at­tacks, stroke, di­a­betes, and lung can­cer.

“We are un­der­tak­ing a num­ber of ini­tia­tives for ex­perts to con­vene in or­der to de­velop strate­gies that would in­crease aware­ness among com­mu­ni­ties on what each one of us could do to re­duce the ad­verse im­pact of air pol­lu­tion on health, which would ben­e­fit from the state-spe­cific find­ings re­ported by this study,” said S. Venkatesh, di­rec­tor gen­eral of health ser­vices.

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