Air Pollution – A Global Health Concern
Air Pollution in India
- Air pollution was the leading risk factor for premature death in India in 2019, accounting for nearly 18% of all deaths. 1.67 million deaths due to air pollution in India in 2019.
- Considered separately, ambient particulate matter (PM2.5) ranked as the 4th leading risk factor in India, and indoor / household air pollution (HAP) ranked 6th.
- As part of a worldwide survey by Swiss organisation IQAir, it was discovered that 22 out of the 30 most polluted cities in the world were in India.
- India recorded the highest annual average PM 2.5 concentration exposure in the world in 2019, as per the State of Global Air 2020 (SOGA 2020) report. India was followed by Nepal, Niger, Qatar and Nigeria in high PM 2.5 exposures.
- 100% of India’s population lives in areas where PM2.5 levels are above the WHO guideline for healthy air (10 μg/m3).
- There are 164 deaths per 100,000 people attributable to air pollution in India compared with 86 deaths globally.
- India is also among the top ten countries with highest Ozone (O3) exposure in 2019. O3 is a major respiratory irritant which is not released directly into the air but is formed in a complex chemical interaction between nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight.
- As per SOGA report, Percentage of Deaths (by Cause) Attributed to Air Pollution in India in 2019 were as follows: