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Pollution: The greatest threat to human health

Updated : November 27, 2018 07:55 PM IST

Air pollution affects life expectancy worse than HIV/AIDS, smoking and terrorism says a study.

As per the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) developed by University of Chicago researchers, air pollution reduces global life expectancy by nearly 2 years.

In comparison, smoking reduces global average life expectancy by about 1.6 years, alcohol and drugs by 11 months, unsafe water and sanitation by 7 months, HIV/AIDS by 4 months and conflict and terrorism by 22 days.

'The AQLI tells citizens and policymakers how particulate pollution is affecting them and their communities and reveals the benefits of policies to reduce particulate pollution'

75 percent of the world's population lives in areas where particulate pollution exceeds WHO guidelines. Loss of life expectancy is the highest in Asia, exceeding 6 years in many parts of India and China.

India and China account for 73 percent of all years of life lost due to particulate pollution. According to the study, Indians would live 4.3 years longer if the country followed WHO guidelines, increasing the average life expectancy from 69 to 73 years.
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