Air pollution is the greatest external threat to human life — 3 times more than alcohol: Study
A study has concluded that fine particulate air pollution remains the greatest external threat to public health. It noted that of all the countries in the world, India faces the greatest health burden from air pollution. Details here.
गाँव कनेक्शन 29 Aug 2023 5:29 AM GMT
In a study conducted to assess the progress made in combating air pollution across the globe, it has been found that the crisis continues to be the biggest external threat to human health.
“The impact of PM2.5 [particulate matter] on global life expectancy is comparable to that of smoking, more than 3 times that of alcohol use and unsafe water, more than 5 times that of transport injuries like car crashes, and more than 7 times that of HIV/AIDS,” the study report titled Air Quality Life Index 2023 mentioned.
The study, authored by Michael Greenstone and Christa Hasenkopf included that China’s efforts to curb pollution is a remarkable success—and a work in progress.
“China’s pollution has declined 42.3 percent since 2013, the year before the country began a “war against pollution.” Due to these improvements, the average Chinese citizen can expect to live 2.2 years longer, provided the reductions are sustained,” the report stated.
However, it highlighted that the pollution in China is still six times the guidelines put out by the World Health Organization [WHO], taking 2.5 years off life expectancy of the Chinese population.
In its remarks on India, it revealed that since 2013, about 59 per cent of the world’s increase in pollution has come from India alone.
“Of all the countries in the world, India faces the greatest health burden from air pollution due to the large number of people its high particulate pollution concentrations affect. Since 2013, 59.1 percent of the world’s increase in pollution has come from India,” it stated.
It underlined that the most polluted region of India is the Northern Plains, which is home to more than a half billion people and 38.9 percent of the country’s population.
“In this region, the average resident is on track to lose about 8 years of life expectancy if the pollution level persists. The region contains the capital city of Delhi, the most polluted megacity in the world with annual average particulate pollution of 126.5 µg/m3 [one cubic metre of air contains one microgram] —more than 25 times the WHO guideline,” it mentioned.
The study noted that the average resident of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan is exposed to particulate pollution levels that are 51.3 per cent higher than at the turn of the century.