In a shocking revelation, air pollution is killing two people in India every minute, says a new study. According to medical journal The Lancet, 10 lakh Indians die every year due to air pollution and some of the worst polluted cities of the world are in India.
The study was based on 2010 data and it estimates that globally 2.7-3.4 million preterm births may be associated with PM2.5 exposure. It is stated South Asia is the worst hit accounting for 1.6 million pre-term births. According to the study air pollution and climate change causes are intricately linked and need to be tackled together. The medical journal Lancet in its conclusion stated that climate change posed both a “potentially catastrophic risk to human health”, while conversely being “the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century” if the right steps are taken.
In the report, Patna and Delhi figure among the most polluted cities. “The smog over northern India is extracting a heavy toll, every minute two lives are lost in India due to ambient air pollution,” the study published in The Lancet says.
"An estimated 18,000 people die every day because of exposure to ambient and household air pollution, making it the world's largest single environmental health risk. Ambient air pollution is particularly pertinent in urban areas, but it also affects non-urban populations," the Lancet Countdown states in the Times of India report. "About 80% of people living in urban areas around the world are exposed to air pollution levels in excess of WHO guidelines. This number rises to 98% for urban populations in low-income and middle-income countries," the TOI report added.