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IIT Study Report: Worst Air Quality Is Major Cause of Premature Deaths In India



IIT Study Report: Worst Air Quality Is Major Cause of Premature Deaths In India

According to the recent research report released by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Delhi in collaboration with environmental NGO, Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED) worst air quality in last 2O years is one of the major reasons for high numbers of premature deaths in India.

The research study was conducted on 11 north Indian cities i.e. seven in Uttar Pradesh (Allahabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut, Varanasi and Gorakhpur), three in Bihar (Patna, Muzaffarpur and Gaya) and one in Jharkhand (Ranchi).

The research study calculated annual mortality burden through averages of recorded deaths caused due to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Acute Lower Respiratory Infection (ALRI), coronary disease, stroke, and lung cancer in these 11 cities. It also used the satellite-based high-resolution PM2.5 database to generate particulate matter statistics for past 17 years.

The annual mortality linked to air pollution was in the range of 150-300 persons per 1 lakh population. Kanpur recorded the highest number of premature deaths per year (4,173) due to chronic exposure to air pollution, followed by Lucknow (4,127), Agra (2,421), Meerut (2,044), Varanasi (1,581), Allahabad (1,443) and Gorakhpur (914).

COPD was the largest cause of deaths (at 29.7%) and lung cancer the lowest (0.6%). The largest share in total burden was attributed to ALRI in Agra and Meerut and to COPD in Allahabad, Gaya, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Patna, Muzaffarpur and Varanasi.

The estimates were not instant deaths but represented premature (earlier than the expected lifetime of Indian population) deaths due to chronic exposure from pollution. This premature mortality burden will be reduced by 14 to 28% annually if these cities achieve of Indian air quality standards.


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