Image credit: Deccan Herald

According to a new Lancet report, pollution caused over 2.3 million premature deaths in India in 2019.

Air pollution caused about 1.6 million deaths, while water contamination caused over 500,000 deaths.

According to the latest Lancet Commission on pollution and health study, pollution is responsible for nine million deaths worldwide, or nearly one in every six.

It stated that India, where poor air kills over a million people each year, was still among the worst affected.

The Lancet report noted that data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2019 (GBD) showed that pollution “remains responsible for around nine million fatalities per year,” updating a 2015 estimate on premature deaths caused by pollution.

Although deaths due to pollution linked with extreme poverty, such as household air pollution and water pollution, have decreased, this has been offset by an increase in mortality due to industrial pollution, ambient air pollution, and hazardous chemical pollution.

Air pollution, both ambient and residential, killed 6.7 million people worldwide in 2019. Water pollution caused 1.4 million deaths, while lead pollution killed 900,000 people prematurely.

More than 90% of pollution-related deaths happened in low-and middle-income nations, according to the report, with India topping the list with 2.36 million deaths and China coming in second with 2.1 million.

Conventional pollution cost India 3.2 per cent of its GDP in 2000, according to the study. Traditional pollution-related deaths have decreased since then, and economic losses have decreased significantly, but they still account for about 1% of India’s GDP.

Economic losses due to modern forms of pollution, including ambient, chemical, and lead pollution, grew between 2000 and 2019, and are now “conservatively estimated to equate to nearly 1% of GDP” in India.

Data from the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute revealed in September of last year that residents of Delhi’s capital could gain up to ten years if air pollution were reduced to the WHO standard of 10 g/m3.

India had the highest average particulate matter concentration in the world in 2019, at 70.3 g/m3.


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