New Delhi: Air pollution is not only causing diseases but is also reducing our lifespan. The latest Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) report claims that if India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal manage clean air quality as per World Health Organization (WHO) standards, the average age will increase by 5.6 years. Otherwise it will be so short. The most polluted cities are Delhi and Kolkata, where people can lose nine years of age.
Freedom from air pollution could give the world a two-year increase in average lifespan and five years for the most polluted countries, according to the AQLI report released on Tuesday. The report said that in 2019, India’s average particulate matter concentration was 70.3 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3), the highest in the world and seven times the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guideline of 10 μg/m3 . According to the report, a quarter of the world’s population lives in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. And they are among the five most populous countries in the world. 48 crore people in India live in the Gangetic plain, where pollution levels are very high.
According to the AQLI, the magnitude of the projected effects of pollution across North India is much higher. This is the region where air pollution levels are among the highest in the world. If pollution condensation continues as in 2019, people living in the region, which also includes metropolitan cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, will lose more than nine years of their lives.