Polluted Air Killed 1.24 Million in India in 2017: Study

The Lancet study says that India's average life expectancy would be higher by 1.7 years if air quality was at healthy levels.


Toxic air killed 1.24 million people in India last year or 12.5 percent of total deaths recorded in the year, according to a study by Lancet.

The study, which was published in the Lancet Planetary Health journal, said over 51 percent of the people who died of toxic air under 70 years of age.

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, Qatari broadcaster AlJazeera wrote on its site.

According to the study, New Delhi, the national capital was most exposed to the tiny particulate matter, known as PM2.5, that can reach deep into the lungs and cause major health problems.

Some north Indian states closer to New Delhi were also as bad as the capital itself, the study said adding the average life expectancy in India in 2017 would have been higher by 1.7 years if air quality was at healthy levels.

This wasn’t as gloomy as a recent report by the University of Chicago which said prolonged exposure to pollution reduces the life expectancy of an Indian by over four years, AlJazeera wrote.

According to the study, at 26.2 percent of the world’s total when measured in deaths and disability India has a higher proportion of global health loss due to air pollution than its 18.1 percent share of the world’s population.

“The findings suggest that the impact of air pollution on deaths and life expectancy in India might be lower than previously estimated but this impact is still quite substantial,” the study said.

The study, conducted by academics and scientists from various institutions in and outside India, was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Indian government and the Indian Council of Medical Research.

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said India was home to the world’s 14 most polluted cities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *