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Telling Numbers: India had most deaths caused by pollution in 2017: new report

The Indian Express logo The Indian Express 19-12-2019

In 2017, pollution was responsible for 15% of all deaths globally, and 275 million Disability-Adjusted Life Years. India saw the most pollution deaths — about 2.3 million — a new report has found. The 2019 Pollution and Health Metrics: Global, Regional and Country Analysis report from the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP) updates findings from The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, and provides a ranking of pollution deaths on global, regional and country levels. The report uses the most recent Global Burden of Disease data from the Institute of Health Metrics Evaluation.

a steam train on a track with smoke coming out of it © Provided by The Indian Express

The top 10 countries with the most pollution deaths include both the world’s largest and wealthiest nations, and some of its poorer ones. India is followed by China in the number of pollution deaths, with about 1.8 million. The United States makes the top 10 list with 1,97,000 pollution-related deaths, while ranking 132nd in the number of deaths per 100,000 people.

The report includes three lists on pollution-induced deaths. India is the only country that features in the top 10 in all three lists (right).

In the list of top 10 countries with the most pollution-related deaths in proportion to their population, there are many smaller countries where the impact of pollution in relation population size is more intense. Chad tops this list with 287 deaths for every 1,00,000 people, whereas India is at number 10 with 174 deaths for every 1,00,000 people.

The list of top 10 countries with the most deaths related to air pollution, significantly, corresponds closely to the list of top 10 countries with the most pollution-related deaths. Air pollution — both ambient and indoor — is one of the largest and most obvious types of pollution affecting global health.

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