Thursday, December 06, 2018

India gasping for a breath of fresh air

India's toxic air has claimed 1.24 million lives in 2017, or 12.5 percent of total deaths recorded in the year, says a study.
The study, published in the journal, Lancet Planetary Health, on Thursday said more than 51 percent of the people who died because of air pollution were younger than 70.
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.
The study said the average life expectancy in India in 2017 would have been higher by 1.7 years if air quality was at healthy levels. While a recent report by the University of Chicago said prolonged exposure to pollution reduces the life expectancy of an Indian by over four years.
The new study said India has a higher proportion of global health loss due to air pollution - at 26.2 percent of the world's total when measured in deaths and disability - than its 18.1 percent share of the world's population.
Earlier this year, the World Health Organisation said India was home to the world's 14 most polluted cities. Each winter, Delhi chokes through haze so extreme that levels of airborne pollutants routinely eclipse safe limits by more than 30 times. Delhi, which has shut down power plants and banned heavy trucks from the city in a bid to curb smog, has accused governments in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana for crop fires that burn every year, sending smoke eastward.

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