Poor air quality lowering life expectancy: study

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Poor air quality lowering life expectancy: study  

New
Delhi, October 31 : A new analysis based on the Air Quality Life Index
(AQLI)
developed by the Energy Policy Institute at the
University of Chicago (EPIC) has shown that an average citizen living in the Indo-Gangetic
Plain
(IGP) region could lose about seven years of life expectancy
because the air quality in the area failed to meet the World Health
Organization’s (WHO) guideline for fine particulate pollution.

Announcing
the findings, researchers associated with the study said the huge impact on
life expectancy was due to a 72 percent increase in pollution from 1998 to 2016
in the region. In 1998, the impact on people’s lives would have been half of
what it is today, with residents losing a lower 3.7 years of life expectancy.

Air pollution : a challenge through much of India

“Air
pollution is a challenge through much of India. However, the high levels of
particulate pollution in the Indo-Gangetic Plain region, which includes Bihar,
Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, stand out,”
researchers said. In 1998, citizens living outside of the region would have
seen their lives cut short by 1.2 years relative to what it would have been if
air quality met the WHO guideline. That number has grown to 2.6 years—also
worsening but much more modest than what has happened in the IGP, they said.

The
findings were announced at a programme here today where the full platform of
the Index was made accessible in Hindi.

The
researchers have also found that if India succeeded in meeting its goals under
the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) and achieved sustaining
pollution reductions of about 25 percent, it could help extend the life
expectancy of an average Indian by 1.3 years and those living in the IGP by about
2 years.  

By Sunderarajan Padmanabhan

(India Science Wire)

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