China, India account for half of global air pollution deaths: Study

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air pollutionChina and India account for half the total number of deaths due to air pollution in 2015 related to PM2.5 exposure, as per a study released on February 14.

Researched by the Health Effects Institute, the study shows that air pollution caused 4.2 million deaths worldwide in 2015, with around 2.2 million deaths in China and India alone.

India has the highest number of premature deaths because of ozone pollution (a type of pollution)—the toll is 13 times higher than Bangladesh’s, and 21 times higher than Pakistan’s, as per the State of Global Air 2017 report released on February 14.

Health Effects Institute prepared the health report along with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and the University of British Columbia.

The institute, which has also launched an online database showing an impact of pollution on health, said this is so because 92 per cent of the world’s population lives in areas with polluted air. This is one of the main reasons why air pollution is a major contributor to early deaths.

According to the study, air pollution has been connected to higher rates of cancer, heart attack, various kinds of heart disease, and chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma.

The study has also worked out a set of behavioural, dietary and environmental risk factors for 300 diseases in 195 countries from 1990 onwards.