Pollution kills 2.4 million people in India in one year

India reported more than 2.4 million premature deaths from pollution of all kinds including 1.67 million deaths caused by air pollution in 2019, the highest toll of any country in the world, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal The Lancet.

The majority of air pollution-related deaths in India are caused by ambient PM2.5 pollution, tiny air pollution particles two and a half microns wide or less, the researchers said.

“India has developed various mechanisms to tackle air pollution, including the National Air Quality Programme, and in 2019 launched the Air Quality Management Commission in the Indian capital region,” the study authors wrote.

→ Read also: Pollution is responsible for around 9 million premature deaths every year

However, India does not have a strong centralized administrative system to drive air pollution control efforts and as a result the overall improvement in air quality is limited and uneven, they said.

Globally, pollution was responsible for the premature deaths of nine million people in 2019, according to The Lancet, a toll that is not improving, mainly due to poor air quality and chemical pollutants.

Pollution and human-generated waste released into the air, water and soil rarely kill outright, but cause serious heart disease, cancer, respiratory problems, or acute diarrhea.

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Cheryl Tenny

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