Air pollution now a major risk to life expectancy in South Asia: Study

Vehicles move on a dusty road as air pollution worsens during winters in Tongi area of Gazipur, Bangladesh. File

Autos transfer on a dusty highway as air air pollution worsens throughout winters in Tongi space of Gazipur, Bangladesh. File
| Photograph Credit score: Reuters

Rising air air pollution can reduce life expectancy by greater than 5 years per particular person in South Asia, one of many world’s most polluted areas, in line with a report printed on August 29 which flagged the rising burden of hazardous air on well being.

The area, which incorporates the world’s most polluted nations of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, accounts for greater than half of the full life years misplaced globally to air pollution, the College of Chicago’s Power Coverage Institute (EPIC) mentioned in its newest Air High quality Life Index.

Speedy industrialisation and inhabitants development have contributed to declining air high quality in South Asia, the place particulate air pollution ranges are at the moment greater than 50% larger than initially of the century and now overshadow risks posed by bigger well being threats.

Individuals in Bangladesh, the world’s most polluted nation, stands to lose 6.8 years of life on common per particular person, in comparison with 3.6 months in the USA, in line with the research, which makes use of satellite tv for pc information to calculate the affect of a rise in airborne high-quality particles on life expectancy.

India is accountable for about 59% of the world’s enhance in air pollution since 2013, the report mentioned, as hazardous air threatens to shorten lives additional in a few of the nation’s extra polluted areas. Within the densely populated New Delhi, the world’s most polluted mega-city, the typical life span is down by greater than 10 years.

“Decreasing world ranges of lung-damaging airborne particles, generally known as PM 2.5, to ranges really helpful by the World Well being Group (WHO) might increase common life expectancy by 2.3 years, or a mixed 17.8 billion life years,” the report mentioned.

“A median resident of Pakistan would achieve 3.9 years from assembly the WHO tips of limiting common annual PM 2.5 focus to five micrograms per cubic metre, whereas somebody in Nepal would dwell 4.6 years longer if the rule was met,” in line with the report.

China, in the meantime, has labored to scale back air pollution by 42.3% between 2013 and 2021, the report mentioned, highlighting the necessity for governments to generate accessible air high quality information to assist bridge world inequalities in accessing instruments to fight air pollution.