India tops global list of pollution-related deaths with 2.5 million victims: Report

  • China recorded 1.8 million pollution-related deaths in 2015

NEW DELHI – A comprehensive study has revealed that the maximum number of deaths from pollution in the world occurred in India with as many as 2.5 million people dying in a year, prematurely due to illnesses linked to environmental pollution.

The study published in the medical journal ‘The Lancet’ analysed the deaths on global scale in the year 2015 and calculated that pollution caused nine million deaths which was three times more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

As far as the list of countries is concerned, India occupied the top position pushing China to the second spot with its current figure of 1.8 million pollution-related deaths in 2015.

The report also said that one in six of all deaths worldwide is caused by pollution, and the vast majority occur in developing countries adding that dirty air caused the highest number of deaths – 6.5 million.

The report was prepared from a research conducted by about 40 international scientists, who used data from the Global Burden of Disease study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington

“With globalisation, mining and manufacturing shifted to poorer countries, where environmental regulations and enforcement can be lax,” said Karti Sandilya, one of the authors and an adviser to environmental group Pure Earth.

“People in poorer countries, like construction workers in New Delhi, are more exposed to air pollution and less able to protect themselves from exposure, as they walk, bike or ride the bus to workplaces that may also be polluted,” Sandilya added.

Earlier this year, the State of Global Air 2017 report showed that India has witnessed a 150 per cent rise in lives lost over the past two decades from ozone pollutants.

To combat high pollution levels in the city, the Supreme Court recently imposed a ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) few days ahead of Diwali, but the ban was apparently flouted.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Friday reported that the Air Quality Index (AQI) value on Thursday (Diwali) night was recorded at 319, categorising it in a ‘very poor’ category.