Air Pollution Claims 620,000 Lives in India: Study

Bangalore: Air pollution is the fifth largest killer in India taking 6.2 lakh lives per year and Delhi is among one of the five most critically polluted regions in the country, said a study by a U.S.-based health institute.

The other four most critically polluted regions in the country were noted to be Ghaziabad, Gwalior, West Singbhum district in Jharkhand and Raipur, according to the study. The study has claimed that 6.2 lakh premature deaths in India occur due to air pollution-related diseases, a six-fold increase as compared to that in the year 2000.

It said air pollution had also turned out to be the fifth leading cause of death in the country, after high blood pressure, indoor air pollution, tobacco smoking and poor nutrition. Global Burden of Disease (GDB) report by U.S.-based Health Effect Institute has ranked air pollution as one of the top ten killers in the world, and sixth most dangerous killer in South Asia.

Sunita Narain, Director General CSE, said "6.20 lakh premature deaths occur in India from air pollution-related diseases. This is a shocking and deeply disturbing news. This calls for urgent and aggressive action to protect public health."

The report said that Delhi is among the troubled cities suffering from multi-pollutant crisis. "Delhi is definitely there, Kolkata is there and there are small towns where we are seeing what we call multi-polutant crisis," it said.

(With PTI inputs)