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India leads world in pollution-linked deaths with about 2.3 million in 2017: GAHP Report

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On December 20, 2019, According to the new report, “2019 Pollution and Health Metrics: Global, Regional and Country Analysis” released by Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP), India leads the world with about 2.3 million (23,26,771 deaths) in 2017 in terms of premature deaths due to pollution.India had most deaths caused by pollutionIndia is followed by China (18,65,566 deaths) & Nigeria (2,79,318 deaths). The United States (US), the world’s third most populous country with 325 million people, stood at 7th position (1,96,930 deaths).

Key Points:

i.The report ,based on the findings of the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, estimates the global impact of contaminants in the air, water and workplace.

ii.Pollution death per 1 lakh population:  In terms of total untimely deaths per 1 lakh population due to pollution, Chad ranks 1st  with 287 deaths, followed by Central African Republic (251) & North Korea (202) .while India ranks 10th  in this list with (174).

iii.Deaths related to Air-pollution:  In terms of untimely deaths due to air pollution only, China ranks first with 12, 42,987 deaths, India ranked 2nd with (12,40,529 deaths) and Pakistan ranks third (1,28,005).

Other significant revelations include:

i.India is the only country included in the 3 lists issued by this report. However, the number of deaths due to pollution has decreased during the years 2015 to 2017. In 2015 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) estimate, there were 90 lakh deaths due to pollution whereas in the year 2017, it was 83 lakh.

ii.According to these reports, while traditional sources of pollution such as dirt and household smoke have decreased, modern sources like urbanization and industrialization have increased. Globally, modern pollution causes 5.3 million deaths every year, which is the highest among all other causes.

iii. As per the report, pollution was the cause of 21% of the total cardiovascular diseases, 23% of heart attacks, 26% of ischemic heart disease and 43% of lung cancer cases.

About Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP):
It is the 1st international alliance formed in 2012 by the World Bank (WB), the European Commission, UN(United Nations) Environment, the Ministries of Environment and Health of more than 25 low- and middle-income countries, and the nonprofit Pure Earth and other agencies to address pollution and health at scale.