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Thursday, December 08, 2022

Air pollution reducing life expectancy by 5 years in India: Study

New DelhiAir pollution is one of the biggest threats to human health in India, with Delhi being the most polluted state reducing life expectancy by five years if the annual average pollution level does not exceed five micrograms per cubic metre. Increases to 10 years on average. The Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) of the University of Chicago (EPIC) was released Tuesday by the Energy Policy Institute. In contrast, child and maternal malnutrition reduces average life expectancy by about 1.8 years and smoking by 1.5 years.

Delhi was also the most polluted state with an average life expectancy of around 9.7 years, according to an AQLI analysis last year based on the old revised World Health Organization (WHO) target of 10 micrograms per cubic meter to reduce disease burden. According to this year’s analysis, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana and Tripura are among the top five polluted states that stand to gain the most in life expectancy when pollution levels are met.

Globally, India is the second most polluted country ahead of Bangladesh, where poor air has reduced life expectancy by 6.9 years in 2020, followed by Nepal (4.1 years), Pakistan (3.8 years) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR). 2.9 years). ,

Chart1A

The AQLI found that particulate air pollution takes 2.2 years off the global average life expectancy, or a combined 17 billion life years. The impact on life expectancy is greater than that of smoking, more than three times that of alcohol use and unsafe water, six times that of HIV/AIDS and 89 times that of conflict and terrorism, the analysis said.

“It would be a global emergency if Martians came to Earth and sprayed a substance that would cause the average person on the planet to lose life expectancy of more than two years. This is similar to the situation present in many parts of the world, except we spray the substance. Not some invaders from outer space,” said Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics Michael Greenstone, creator of AQLI, along with his colleagues. EPIC. “Luckily, history teaches us that it doesn’t have to be that way. is not needed. In many places around the world, such as the United States, strong policies, backed by an equally strong desire for change, have been successful in reducing air pollution. ,

All of India’s 1.3 billion people live in areas where annual average particulate pollution levels exceed WHO limits. The analysis found that more than 63% of the population lives in areas that exceed the country’s own national annual air quality standard of 40 micrograms per cubic metre.

Chart2A

Since 1998, average annual particulate pollution has increased by 61.4%, leading to a further reduction in average life expectancy by 2.1 years. About 44% of the world’s pollution has increased from India since 2013.

In the Indo-Gangetic plains, 510 million inhabitants, about 40% of India’s population, are on track to lose an average life expectancy of 7.6 years if current pollution levels persist. The life expectancy of the residents of Lucknow will be reduced by 9.5 years if the pollution level remains the same.

The AQLI translates particulate air pollution into its effect on life expectancy. It measures the causal relationship between long-term human exposure to air pollution and life expectancy.

For its latest analysis, the AQLI team used air pollution data from 2020, when restrictions related to COVID-19 were imposed globally. “According to the new and revised satellite-derived PM2.5 data, the global population-weighted-average PM2.5 level decreased more than five times between 2019 and 2020 from 27.7 to 27.5 micrograms per cubic meter – 5 times the WHO’s revised guideline. micrograms per cubic meter – despite a sharp slowdown in economic activity around the world. In fact, global particulate pollution concentrations today are roughly the same as in 2003,” the analysis said.

Chart3A

Since 1998, average annual particulate pollution has increased by 61.4%, leading to a further reduction in average life expectancy by 2.1 years. About 44% of the world’s pollution has increased from India since 2013.

In the Indo-Gangetic plains, 510 million inhabitants, about 40% of India’s population, are on track to lose an average life expectancy of 7.6 years if current pollution levels persist. The life expectancy of the residents of Lucknow will be reduced by 9.5 years if the pollution level remains the same.

The AQLI translates particulate air pollution into its effect on life expectancy. It measures the causal relationship between long-term human exposure to air pollution and life expectancy.

For its latest analysis, the AQLI team used air pollution data from 2020, when restrictions related to COVID-19 were imposed globally. “According to the new and revised satellite-derived PM2.5 data, the global population-weighted-average PM2.5 level decreased more than five times between 2019 and 2020 from 27.7 to 27.5 micrograms per cubic meter – 5 times the WHO’s revised guideline. micrograms per cubic meter – despite a sharp slowdown in economic activity around the world. In fact, global particulate pollution concentrations today are roughly the same as in 2003,” the analysis said.

Krista Hasankoff, director of AQLI, said this shows that air pollution is a very serious problem that requires consistent and strong action.

South Asia bears the largest burden of air pollution. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal are among the top five most polluted countries in the world. South Asia accounts for more than half, 52%, of the estimated lost life years globally due to high pollution. In each of these countries, the impact of air pollution on life expectancy is much greater than that of other major health hazards.

Average residents of four countries are exposed to pollution levels that are 47% higher than at the end of the century. If pollution levels in 2000 remained constant over time, residents of these countries would be on track to lose a life expectancy of 3.3 years.

India faces the highest health burden of air pollution globally due to its high particulate pollution concentration and large population. The level of particulate pollution has increased from 53 micrograms per cubic meter in 2013 to 56 micrograms per cubic meter today, which is almost 11 times higher than the WHO limit.

China stands to lose 2.5 years of life expectancy, but it has also gained two years since 2013 due to reduction in pollution levels. China’s pollution has been on the decline since the country launched a “war on pollution” in 2014. This decline continued through 2020, with the analysis saying that pollution levels are 39.6% lower than in 2013. Because of these improvements, the average Chinese citizen can expect to live two years longer, provided the reductions continue. Beijing reported the biggest drop in air pollution between 2013 and 2020, with PM2.5 levels falling from 85 to 38 micrograms per cubic meter in just seven years – a 55% drop. Beijing’s pollution has dropped by 8.7 from 2019 to 2020.

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