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Air pollution may lower life expectancy of 40% Indians by 9 years: Study

According to research published by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, more than 480 million people live across broad swaths of central, eastern, and northern India, including New Delhi.

Air pollution likely to lower life expectancy of Indians by nine years gcw
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New Delhi, First Published Sep 1, 2021, 4:28 PM IST
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According to a report issued on Wednesday by a US research organisation, air pollution is projected to lower the life expectancy of about 40% of Indians by more than nine years. According to research published by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), more than 480 million people live across broad swaths of central, eastern, and northern India, including New Delhi. According to the EPIC study, "India's high levels of air pollution have extended geographically over time."

According to the report, air quality in the western state of Maharashtra and the central state of Madhya Pradesh has drastically deteriorated. The EPIC research praised India's National Clean Air Program (NCAP), which was launched in 2019 with the goal of reducing harmful pollution levels. It stated that "reaching and maintaining" the NCAP targets would increase the country's overall life expectancy by 1.7 years and that of New Delhi by 3.1 years.

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The NCAP intends to reduce pollution in the 102 worst-affected cities by 20%-30% by 2024 by reducing industrial emissions and vehicle exhaust, implementing severe transportation fuel and biomass burning standards, and reducing dust pollution. It will also necessitate improved monitoring systems. According to IQAir, a Swiss organisation that evaluates air quality levels based on the quantity of lung-damaging airborne particles known as PM2.5, New Delhi was the world's most polluted metropolis for the third consecutive year in 2020.

Last winter, New Delhi's 20 million inhabitants, who had breathed some of the cleanest air on record in the summer due to coronavirus shutdown limits, had to contend with poisonous air due to a significant spike in farm residue burning in neighbouring states Punjab and Haryana. According to the EPIC findings, if neighbouring Bangladesh improves air quality to World Health Organization standards, it may increase average life expectancy by 5.4 years. EPIC calculated life expectancy by comparing persons exposed to various levels of long-term air pollution and applying the results to multiple locations in India and worldwide.
 

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