Air Pollution likely to cut 9 years of life expectancy of 40% Indians: Study

In a study, it is found that 480 million people in northern India face the “most extreme levels of air pollution in the world”. Over then, it will be the same for other parts of the country too. Air pollution is likely to reduce the life expectancy of about 40 percent of Indians by more than nine years. This was according to a report released by a United States-based research group(Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago).

Indian cities routinely dominate global pollution rankings and bad air kills more than a million people every year. The study says that India is going to face the worst ever air pollution than any other country in the world. 

According to the study, it will be the capital city, Delhi which is going to hit the worst among other parts of the country and the pollution levels are increasing in the capital now.

It was also noted in the study that the air quality has significantly worsened in the western state of Maharashtra and the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

In Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, the number of years one is losing from one’s life on average because of air pollution goes up to 9.7 and 9.5 years, respectively.

By contrast, the average global citizen loses 2.2 years of life to air pollution, according to 2019 concentration levels.

The report says that Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, which together account for nearly a quarter of the global population and these countries are on the top list of air polluted countries. 

As per BBC reports, EPIC acknowledges certain policy changes made by the Indian government to fight air pollution, such as the 2019 National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which aims to reduce dangerous particulate pollution in the country.

“Achieving these goals would have a major impact on the life expectancy levels of Indians – it would increase the national life expectancy level by nearly two years, and three-and-a-half years for residents of Delhi,” it says.

China, the report says, is one example of how effective policy can produce “sharp reductions in pollution in short order”. Since 2013, the country has reduced its particulate production by 29%.

According to the EPIC’s findings, neighboring Bangladesh could raise average life expectancy by 5.4 years if the country improved air quality to levels recommended by the World Health Organization.

To arrive at the life expectancy number, EPIC compared the health of people exposed to different levels of long-term air pollution and applied the results to various places in India and elsewhere.