"Air pollution makes Indians live 5.3 years less"

30 August, New Delhi: A study from the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute says that air pollution cuts the life expectancy of the average Indian by 5.3 years.

The Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) study for 2023, which came out on Tuesday, says that air pollution shortens lives by 11.9 years in Delhi. This is a lot more than the average for India.


“India is the second most dirty place in the world. The study says that fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) cuts the average Indian’s life span by 5.3 years compared to what it would be if the WHO standard of 5 g/m3 was met.

It says that all 1.3 billion people in India live in places where the average amount of particulate pollution is higher than what the WHO recommends.

The study says that 67.4% of the population lives in places where the air quality is worse than the country’s official standard of 40 g/m3.

The study says that particulate pollution is the biggest threat to people’s health in India, based on how long they can expect to live.

The AQLI is a measure of pollution that shows how fine particles in the air affect how long people live.

The AQLI was made by Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago, and his team at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC). It is based on research that measures how long-term exposure to air pollution affects a person’s life expectancy.

The Index then blends this study with hyper-localized satellite measures of global particulate matter (PM2.5) to get a look at the real cost of pollution in places all over the world that has never been seen before.

The most polluted part of India is the Northern Plains, which is home to 521.2 million people, or 38.9% of the country’s population. If pollution levels stay the same, the average life expectancy of these people will drop by 8 years compared to the WHO standard and by 4.5 years compared to the national standard.

Cardiovascular diseases, on the other hand, cut the average Indian’s life expectancy by 4.5 years, while hunger in children and mothers cuts life expectancy by 1.8 years.

The study says that the life span of people in Delhi, India’s capital and most populous city, would go up by 11.9 years if India met the WHO standard for particulate pollution.

In North 24 Parganas, which is the second most popular area in the country, people’s life span would go up by 5.6 years.

India started its National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in 2019 to show that it wants to cut down on particulate pollution. This was called a “war against pollution.”

NCAP’s intended goal was to cut particulate pollution across the country by 20–30% compared to 2017 levels by 2024. It focused on 102 cities that did not meet India’s national annual average PM2.5 standard. These cities were called “non-attainment cities.”

The Indian government changed its particulate pollution reduction goal for NCAP in 2022. It didn’t set a national goal, but its goals for cities were made more ambitious.

By 2025, the new goal is for 131 towns that don’t meet the standards to cut their pollution by 40% compared to 2017. “If the new goal is met, the average yearly exposure to PM2.5 in these places would be 21.9 g/m3 lower than it was in 2017. The study says, “This would add 2.1 years to the average Indian’s life in these 131 cities and 7.9 months to the average Indian’s life across the country.”



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