The Witness - - NEWS -

NEW DELHI — In­dia’s toxic air claimed 1,24 mil­lion lives in 2017, or 12,5% of to­tal deaths recorded that year, ac­cord­ing to a study pub­lished in Lancet Plan­e­tary Health yes­ter­day.

More than 51% of the peo­ple who died be­cause of air pol­lu­tion were younger than 70, said the study con­ducted by aca­demics and sci­en­tists from var­i­ous in­sti­tu­tions in In­dia and around the world.

It was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion, the In­dian gov­ern­ment and the In­dian Coun­cil of Med­i­cal Re­search.

Of the to­tal, about

670 000 died from air pol­lu­tion in the wider en­vi­ron­ment and 480 000 from house­hold pol­lu­tion re­lated to the use of solid cook­ing fu­els.

The In­dian cap­i­tal, New Delhi, was most ex­posed to the tiny par­tic­u­late mat­ter, known as PM 2,5, that can reach deep into the lungs and cause ma­jor health prob­lems, the study con­cluded. Some north­ern states closer to Delhi were al­most as bad.

Av­er­age life ex­pectancy in In­dia in 2017 would have been higher by 1,7 years if air qual­ity was at healthy lev­els, the re­port said. That isn’t as gloomy as some other re­cent stud­ies. — Reuters.

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