Air pollution, caused largely by burning fossil fuels, is cutting global life expectancy by an average of 1.8 years per person, making it the world's top killer, researchers said. People in parts of India, the world's second-largest country by population, could live 11 years less due to high levels of air pollution.
The tiny particles ingested from polluted air shorten life more than first-hand cigarette smoke, which can reduce it by 1.6 years, and are more dangerous than other public health threats such as war and HIV/AIDS, they said.
China and Indonesia are also among the countries where microscopic particles floating in the air hit residents the hardest, cutting their life expectancy by as much as seven years and five and a half years respectively, the website shows.
Only a handful of India's 100 most polluted cities have drawn up plans to combat air pollution despite being asked to do so three years ago.