Rising air pollution in India led to 1.67 million deaths and a loss of $36.8 billion in 2019, says Lancet report

Rising air pollution in India led to 1.67 million deaths and a loss of $36.8 billion in 2019, says Lancet report
A woman covers her nose with a sheet of paper as a autorickshaw lets out a huge smoke screen in Bangalore.BCCL
  • A recent report by Lancet on the impact of air pollution in India in 2019 says that 1·67 million deaths were attributable to air pollution, accounting for 17.8% of the total deaths.
  • It also resulted in a total loss of $36.8 billion, which was 1.36% of India's gross domestic product (GDP).
  • India’s national capital Delhi, which has ranked as one of the world’s most polluted cities several times over the last few years, saw its economy take a big hit due to the crisis.
India and its rising air pollution crisis has cost not just the country’s economy but also resulted in the death of 1.67 million people.

A recent report by Lancet on the impact of air pollution in India in 2019 says that 1·67 million deaths were attributable to air pollution, accounting for 17.8% of the total deaths in the country.

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“The increasing death rate attributable to ambient particulate matter pollution reflects increasing pollutant emissions from rising energy consumption, accelerated urbanisation, rapid industrialisation, and growing numbers of petroleum-powered vehicles,” said the report.

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And if that were not enough, it also resulted in a total loss of $36.8 billion, which was 1·36% of India's gross domestic product (GDP). The loss was calculated according to the premature deaths and their impact on India’s economy, loss in human capital as well as healthcare costs incurred by the people due to air pollution.

India’s national capital Delhi, which has ranked as one of the world’s most polluted cities several times over the last few years, with the air pollution crisis also becoming a point of political debate saw its economy take a big hit due to the crisis. “Delhi had the highest per-capita economic loss due to air pollution, followed by Haryana in 2019, with 5.4 times variation across all states,” said the report.

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