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Pollution killed 90 lakh across the globe in 2019 and more than a quarter were from India, a study reveals

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Pollution killed 90 lakh across the globe in 2019 and more than a quarter were from India, a study reveals

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Pollution kills about the same number of people a year around the world as cigarette smoking and second-hand smoke combined, the study said.

Pollution killed 90 lakh across the globe in 2019 and more than a quarter were from India, a study reveals
Pollution killed 90 lakh people across the globe in 2019, with the death toll attributed to dirty air from cars, trucks, and industry rising 55 percent since 2000, a latest study has revealed. And, over a quarter of all deaths, or nearly 24 lakh deaths, happened in India.
There were fewer pollution deaths from primitive indoor stoves and water contaminated with human and animal waste, so overall pollution deaths in 2019 were about the same as in 2015.
The United States is the only fully industrialised country in the top 10 nations for total pollution deaths, ranking 7th with 142,883 deaths blamed on pollution in 2019, sandwiched between Bangladesh and Ethiopia, according to a new study in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health.
Tuesday's pre-pandemic study is based on calculations derived from the Global Burden of Disease database and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle. China reported 22 lakh deaths a year.
When deaths are put on a per population rate, the United States ranks 31st from the bottom at 43.6 pollution deaths per 100,000. Chad and the Central African Republic rank the highest with rates of about 300 pollution deaths per 100,000, more than half of them due to tainted water, while Brunei, Qatar and Iceland have the lowest pollution death rates ranging from 15 to 23. The global average is 117 pollution deaths per 100,000 people.
Pollution kills about the same number of people a year around the world as cigarette smoking and second-hand smoke combined, the study said.
Global estimated deaths by major risk factor or cause
"90 lakh deaths is a lot of deaths," said Philip Landrigan, director of the Global Public Health Program and Global Pollution Observatory at Boston College. The bad news is that it's not decreasing, Landrigan said. "We're making gains in the easy stuff, and we're seeing the more difficult stuff, which is the ambient (outdoor industrial) air pollution and the chemical pollution, still going up."
The certificates for these deaths don't say pollution. "They list heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, other lung issues and diabetes that are tightly correlated with pollution by numerous epidemiological studies," Landrigan said.
In New Delhi, India, air pollution peaks in the winter months, and last year the city saw just two days when the air wasn't considered polluted. It was the first time in four years that the city experienced a clean air day during the winter months.
"That air pollution remains the leading cause of death in South Asia reconfirms what is already known, but the increase in these deaths means that toxic emissions from vehicles and energy generation is increasing," said Anumita Roychowdhury, a director at the advocacy group Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi.
This data is a reminder of what is going wrong, and that it is an opportunity to fix it, Roychowdhury said.
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