• Associate Sponsor

At 2.5 million, India tops list of pollution-linked deaths: Study

The Lancet study concluded that pollution is now the largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today — three times more those from HIV-AIDS, TB and malaria put together.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune | Updated: October 20, 2017 1:52 pm
delhi pollution, delhi air quality, air quality, air quality norms, Air Quality-Life Index , air pollution, india air pollution, air pollution infections, air pollution deaths, delhi air quality, indian express Of the 2.51 million deaths in India, 1.81 were related to air pollution

India has topped the list of countries with pollution-related deaths in 2015, with 2.51 million people dying prematurely in the country that year due to diseases linked to air, water and other forms of pollution, according to a new study published in the reputed medical journal, The Lancet.

India accounted for about 28 per cent of an estimated 9 million pollution-linked deaths worldwide in 2015, the study found. It also topped the list of deaths linked to polluted air (1.81 million) and water (0.64 million).

Most of the pollution-related deaths — 92 per cent — were reported in low and middle income countries, and in rapidly industrialising nations such as India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Madagascar and Kenya, the study said. China, with 1.8 million pollution-linked deaths in 2015, followed India on The Lancet list. Most of these deaths were due to non-communicable diseases caused by pollution, such as heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health’s study.

The study is part of a two-year project that involved more than 40 international health and environmental authors led by Philip Landrigan, an environmental scientist, and Richard Fuller, founder of NGO Pure Earth, and the secretariat of the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution. Among the authors of the study are former environment minister Jairam Ramesh and IIT-Delhi’s Prof Mukesh Khare.

Also Read | Thick haze, ‘very poor’ air quality in Delhi-NCR after Diwali celebrations

According to The Lancet report, air pollution was the biggest contributor, linked to 6.5 million deaths in 2015, ahead of water pollution (1.8 million) and workplace-related pollution (0.8 million).

pollution, delhi pollution, Diwali 2017, india air quality, pollution deaths, world pollution, india pollution, india pollution ranking, pollution lancet list, india air, latest news, indian express

Of the 2.51 million deaths in India, 1.81 were related to air pollution, 0.64 million to water pollution, 0.17 million to occupational exposure and 95,000 linked to lead pollution, according to the study.
China (1.58 million) was placed after India in deaths linked to air-pollution, followed by Pakistan (0.22 million), Bangladesh (0.21 million) and Russia (0.14 million). In deaths linked to water pollution, Nigeria (0.16 million) and Pakistan (74,000) were placed after India.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Dr Sundeep Salvi, a member of the Health Ministry’s steering committee on air pollution and health, described the findings as “major” and said that it was “time to wake up” and start finding innovative solutions.

“For this, the government will need to take a lead role and formulate strategies on an urgent basis. Otherwise, the growing economy in the country will be a curse to the common man because this is coming at the cost of suffering and death,” Salvi said.

The Lancet study concluded that pollution is now the largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today — three times more those from HIV-AIDS, TB and malaria put together.

For the study, researchers used data from the Global Burden of Disease study, which brings together comprehensive estimates on the effects of pollution on health, provides economic costs, and reveals the extent of contaminated sites across the world for the first time.

With 9 million deaths in 2015, diseases caused by all forms of pollution were responsible for more deaths than a high-sodium diet (4.1 million), obesity (4 million), alcohol (2.3 million), road accidents (1.4 million), and child and maternal malnutrition (1.4 million).

Read | Chennai as polluted as New Delhi? Air quality hits alarming levels following Deepavali

The aim of the Lancet Commission is to raise global awareness on pollution, end neglect of pollution-related diseases, and mobilise resources and political will to effectively confront pollution, according to its co-lead, Prof Philip Landrigan from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt Sinai, US.

The report found that pollution from outdoor and indoor air, water and soil contamination, and chemical pollutants is one of the largest risk factors leading to premature death. In a comment linked to the study, Dr Pamela Das, Senior Executive Editor, and Dr Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, said, “As the report shows, no country is unaffected by pollution… This Lancet Commission should inform policy makers and serve as a timely call to action. Pollution is a winnable battle.”

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. KELLY CHRIST
    Oct 31, 2017 at 1:32 am
    Do you need urgent cash to pay off bills and start new life? Contact us to donate your one k1dney for 2 Cr, Email: kellyspecialisthome or whatsapp number 91
    (0)(0)
    Reply
    1. J
      Jansankhya Visphot
      Oct 21, 2017 at 8:48 am
      Finally a sustainable population-growth management solution has been found. We should burn 2 Holi bonfires instead of 1 , also have 2 Diwalis each year - to take care of 1.34 billion
      (0)(0)
      Reply
      1. A
        Atheist
        Oct 21, 2017 at 8:29 am
        Don’t be Apologetic about Diwali - Enjoy it In my city of Bengaluru alone - 4 lakhs Animals are Killed on Eid which includes 10000 Large animals like Cattle and Camels It generates 300 tonnes of animal waste which is just buried in pits near Kogilu on the city outskirts For 14 lakh Muslims in Bengaluru - 4 lakh Animals killed Even if one Animal weighs 10 kg then can an average person eat 3 kg meat on single day ? And mind you this includes kids and infants also So most of the meat goes waste though people might claim we give it to poor If you conflate this number to whole of India then imagine the number of Animals killed on the single day ? For 200 millon it must be at least 20 millon Animals And 200 millon kgs of Meat and staggering 8 billon kgs of Green House gases or Carbon dioxide and we are not even calculating the lakhs of tonnes of bio waste generated And now conflate this number to the whole world It is 200 millon Animals 80 billon kgs of CO2.
        (1)(0)
        Reply
        1. A
          Atheist
          Oct 21, 2017 at 8:29 am
          Now let us come to ThanksGiving in USA - 45 million Turkeys are killed Christmas in US - 25 million Turkeys are killed In US 30 million trees are chopped off every year to make Christmas Tree Which is huge pollution And 50 million artificial trees are used which is made of plastic and is even more polluting On Independence Day July 4th USA uses 1 billion Worth of fire crackers which is 5 times more than what India uses in an whole year Chinese use more times more firecrackers on Chinese New Year alone that what US does on July 4 World wide on New year billions Worth Fire crackers are used Hindu festivals are the only Eco Friendly festivals on Earth As most of Hindus eat only Vegetarian food on festivals Other wise every other religion the meat is the most important item on a festival or any celebration.
          (1)(0)
          Reply
          1. A
            Atheist
            Oct 21, 2017 at 8:29 am
            But when it comes to narrative it is only hindu festivals which are being maligned as polluting Holi - Water Pollution so Waterless Holi Ganesh - Sea or River Pollution So Green Ganesh Dussehra - so don’t go dandia or no Durga Idol immersion Diwali - Air Pollution so no fire crackers Have you seen any one raising topic of Pollution on Christmas New year or Eid ? Has anyone campaigned for Veg Xmas or Green New Year or No killing on Eid ? So don’t let breaking India forces take the fun out of Diwali Let the festivals of lights Hindu festivals are green by nature as Hindus worship nature and all tHe festivals are born out of nature worship PS - The most comprehensive report on Delhi Pollution by IIT Kharagpur has not included Fire crackers in the report Road Dust, Concrete batching, Vehicles, Coal tandoors, Crop burning, industries are responsible for Delhi air pollution
            (0)(0)
            Reply
            1. Load More Comments
            Adda