Air pollution cuts 9 years of life expectancy for 40% Indians: Report

Sept 1, 2021: Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago report says more than 480 million Indians endure significantly high pollution levels.

According to a report released by a research group based in the United States, air pollution can reduce the life expectancy of about 40% of Indians by up to nine years. More than 480 million people in vast areas of central, eastern and northern India, including the capital New Delhi, are exposed to significant levels of pollution, according to a report prepared by the Energy Policy Institute (EPIC) at the University of Chicago.

“Alarmingly, India’s high levels of air pollution have expanded geographically over time,” according to the EPIC study, reported by the Reuters news agency on Wednesday.

For example, air quality has significantly worsened in the western state of Maharashtra and the central state of Madhya Pradesh, it said.

Praising India’s National Clean Air Program (NCAP) launched in 2019 to curb hazardous pollution levels, the EPIC report said that the achievement of NCAP targets and Maintaining it will increase the country’s overall life expectancy by 1.7 years and New Delhi’s population by 3.1.

The NCAP aims to reduce pollution by 20 to 30 percent in the 102 worst-affected cities by 2024 to reduce industrial emissions and vehicle emissions, introduce stricter rules for transport fuel and biomass burning, and dust pollution should be reduced. It will also include a better monitoring system.

New Delhi was the world’s most polluted capital for the third year in a row in 2020, according to IQAir, a Swiss group that measures air quality based on the concentration of airborne particles that damage the lungs.

Last year, New Delhi’s 20 million residents, who breathed some of the cleanest air on record in the summer because of coronavirus lockdown curbs, battled toxic air in winter following a sharp increase in farm residue burning in the nearby states of Punjab and Haryana.

According to EPIC results, neighboring Bangladesh could increase the average age by 5.4 years if the country improved air quality to the level recommended by the World Health Organization.

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