HomeINDIABehind 18% of all deaths, Pollution killed 1.7m in India in 2019

Behind 18% of all deaths, Pollution killed 1.7m in India in 2019

A new paper which was written as a collaborative effort by Indian Institutions said that Air pollution which is a severe problem faced by our country. Reports came out saying that it had killed nearly 1.7 million people in India in the year 2019, this is stating for an alarming 17.8% of all deaths in the country in that year.


The economic loss due to the lost output because of the premature deaths and disease which were caused by pollution last year was estimated with around Rs 2.6 lakh crore, and that leads to nearly 1.4% of gross domestic product (GDP). We all know about how severe is the air pollution in Delhi. Hence it was suffering the highest per capita loss, which was then followed by Haryana. The health and economic losses are much higher than it were previously estimated to be.

The study and the reports were conducted by the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiatives a collaborative effort involving over 300 researchers from institutions like ICMR, Public Health Foundation of India and others and assumes significance as it gives with the data from across different states for policy-makers. The results and the reports show the per capita economic loss due to air pollution was generally higher in states with high per capita GDP.


Dr. VK Paul who is the health member at Niti Aayog said that this scientific paper presents the latest proofs on air pollution that is happening in India, which is moving from the health loss to economic impact.

The paper provides a strong assessment of the current situation that is there in each state of our Nation, and it also highlights that it is adding to the existing air pollution control efforts that are based on the specific situation of each state. He further said that the Air pollution and the impact that it is leaving is not just a matter for the health sector he also said that the solutions lie in a multi-sectoral approach.

Behind 18% of all deaths, Pollution killed 1.7m in India in 2019
Behind 18% of all deaths, Pollution killed 1.7m in India in 2019

The economic loss that is happening due to the premature deaths and illness that are being caused due to air pollution — outdoor as well as the household.  The percentage of state GDP was around 1.08% in Delhi alone. The highest loss to GDP was by around 2.6% which was recorded by Uttar Pradesh , which is then followed by Bihar at 1.9% and then by around 1.7% each for Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.


When it comes to only the impact of outdoor air pollution on state GDP, Delhi has recorded a loss of over 1.06%. UP still recorded the highest loss to GDP which is then followed by Punjab.

The study shows that the overall deaths and diseases are caused by the air pollution are linked to the loss of almost 1.4% of India’s GDP. While 40% of the disease which is burden due to air pollution is from the lung diseases and the remaining 60% is from the ischaemic heart disease, heart stroke, diabetes, or neonatal deaths related to pre-term birth. While household air pollution is decreasing in our nation which is resulting in 64% reduction in the death rate per 1,00,000 population, the death rate from the outdoor air pollution has increased by 115%.


 Lalit Dandona of PHFI, who is also the director at the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative, said that the Improved methods in that paper have led to a higher estimate than previous of the impact on health and disease in India that is happening because of the air. He also said that the inequity should be addressed because the health and economic impact of air pollution is highest in the less developed states of India.


He further added that India has come up many initiatives to reduce air pollution, which can benefit further from the insights that were provided in that paper. Investing further in air pollution control will eventually return the investment for the better health and economic development in India.

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