A new study conducted by Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) says that the national capital is witnessing the worst pollution in the last 2 years and the primary cause of the problem is the first-hand cigarette smoke which leads to reduced life expectancy by 1.6 years
According to the study, “By comparison, first-hand cigarette smoke leads to a reduction in global average life expectancy of about 1.6 years”.
It further added, “The impact of particulate pollution on life expectancy is comparable to that of smoking, twice that of alcohol and drug use, three times that of unsafe water, five times that of HIV/AIDS and more than 25 times that of conflict and terrorism”.
However, the air pollutants across the nation have increased by 69% thus reducing the average life expectancy of an Indian by 4.3 years as against to 2.2 years in 1998.
The main regions affected by the air pollution are Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Bihar and Delhi. The study said that pollution is the single greatest threat to human health. Besides India, China is among the worst affected country by the pollution as the air pollutant exceeds the WHO guidelines.
The study says, “The AQLI reveals that India and China, which makes up 36% of the world’s population, account for 73% of all years of life due to particulate pollution”.
In India, Delhi is the second most polluted city after Bulandshahr as PM 2.5 level concentration in Delhi is 114 microgram and 124 micrograms in Bulandshahr.
States like Uttar Pradesh is also on the worst condition as air pollution is ten times more than the WHO safe limit.
The study said, “Over the ensuing two decades, pollution in these regions increased to as much as 10 times the WHO safe limit in the case of Uttar Pradesh, where air pollution levels now reduce life expectancy by 8.6 years”.