Air pollution may shorten life expectancy of 40% Indians by 9 years, says new study
As per the latest data, India is the third most polluted country in the world. According to a report released on Wednesday by a US research group, air pollution is predicted to shorten the average lifespan of approximately 40% of Indians by more than nine years.
According to a report compiled by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), more than 480 million people living across large portions of central, eastern, and northern India, including the capital, New Delhi, suffer from considerably high levels of pollution.
According to the EPIC report, India’s leading National Clean Air Program (NCAP), which was launched in 2019 to reduce harmful pollution levels, “achieving and sustaining” the NCAP goals will increase the country’s overall life expectancy by 1.7 years and New Delhi’s by 3.1 years.
The NCAP seeks to reduce pollution in the 102 most polluted cities by 20 percent to 30 percent by 2024 by assuring reductions in industrial and automobile emissions, enacting stricter standards for transportation fuels and biomass burning, and reducing air pollution.
Following a significant spike in farm waste burning in the surrounding states of Punjab and Haryana, New Delhi’s 20 million people fought toxic air in the winter, despite being privy to some of the cleanest air on record in the summer due to coronavirus lockdown limitations.
According to IQAir, a Swiss organisation that analyses air quality levels based on the quantity of lung-damaging air pollutants known as PM2.5, New Delhi was the world’s most polluted capital for the third successive year in 2020.
It is indicated in the EPIC’s report that the air quality in the western state of Maharashtra and the central state of Madhya Pradesh, has drastically deteriorated. It will also necessitate more comprehensive tracking systems.
“Alarmingly, India’s high levels of air pollution have expanded geographically over time,” the report was quoted by Reuters.
Bangladesh is at top of the most polluted country and thus according to the EPIC, if Bangladesh improves air quality to WHO-recommended levels, it might increase average life expectancy by 5.4 years.
EPIC examined the health of persons exposed to various levels of long-term air pollution and applied the results to various locations in India and internationally to reach the life expectancy estimate.