Growing Pollution in New Delhi

Reduces life expectancy by six years in the Indian capital

Business & Politics

News - Biz@India

June 7, 2016

/ By / New Delhi

Biz@India



Life of people living in New Delhi is cut short by double the national average of reduced life expectancy at around six years because of high quantities of particulate matter

Life of people living in New Delhi is cut short by double the national average of reduced life expectancy at around six years because of high quantities of particulate matter

According to a research, air pollution in New Delhi is relatively high as compared to other parts in the country and reduces life expectancy of the people by around six years.

As per a study conducted by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), high amount of air pollution in New Delhi has reduced the life expectancy of its people by nearly six years on an average.

The study was conducted by IITM scientists along with the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Atmospheric Chemistry Observations and Modeling Laboratory, based on the data of the 2011 census to arrive at the figures of premature mortality due to exposure to particulate matter (PM) in India.

According to the report, air pollution in the country can result in approximately half a million premature deaths each year and exposure to fine particulate matter reduces life span by about 3.4 years in India on average.

However, the life of people living in New Delhi is cut short by double the national average of reduced life expectancy at around six years because of high quantities of particulate matter 2.5.

Pollution in other cities

Along with the effects of the particulate matter, the study also calculates deaths due to exposure to harmful ozone pollution, where Maharashtra stands fourth with 7 pc of the country’s deaths followed by Uttar Pradesh accounts for 18 pc of the total, Bihar for 11 pc and West Bengal for 9.5 pc.

The report showed that life expectancy in Maharashtra dropped by 3.3 years due to exposure to pollution and is cutting the lives of those living in polluted states of West Bengal and Bihar by 6.1 years and 5.7 years respectively.

However, it is difficult to tell about the exact number of deaths occurring because of air pollution, as the study was done in line with other global estimates including Global Burden of Disease (GBD) and World Health Organisation (WHO).

The methods used in the study rely on statistical algorithms to construct estimates about a population’s response to pollution exposure, using previous concrete observations on pollution and public health. Most observational studies have taken place in regions with comparatively low pollution levels, such as Europe or the U.S. There are no epidemiological studies in India that look at the long-term effects of air pollution on mortality. In this work, the report has extrapolated human responses to high pollution levels using results from less polluted places. However, it is the only available option for this type of research until the full studies are conducted in India.

Doctors reveal that regular exposure to pollution drastically affects people’s health. “Air pollution of fine matter enters the heart apart from the lungs through the blood stream and causes heart diseases, heart attacks and blood pressure problems,” said Sundeep Salvi, director of Pune-based Chest Research Foundation (CRF).

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