Delhi Pollution: According to a new study, Delhi is the world's most polluted city, and its citizens are on track to lose 11.9 years of life if current levels of pollution continue.
According to the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) produced by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, all of India's 1.3 billion people live in locations where the yearly average particle pollution level exceeds the World Health Organization (WHO) standard of 5 g/m3.
It was also determined that 67.4% of the population lives in places where air quality exceeds the country's proclaimed threshold of 40 g/m3.
According to the study, fine particle air pollution (PM2.5) reduces an average Indian's life expectancy by 5.3 years compared to what it would be if the WHO's 5 g/m3 pollution standard was fulfilled.
According to the AQLI, Delhi is the most polluted city in the world, with its 18 million citizens on course to lose 11.9 years of life expectancy on average compared to the WHO limit and 8.5 years compared to the national guideline if current pollution levels continue.
"Regardless of in the most polluted district in the region, Pathankot in Punjab, particulate pollution is over seven times the WHO limitation, taking 3.1 years off the lifespan if current levels persist," according to the research.
Though geology and meteorology exacerbate particle pollution in the northern plains, the AQLI's dust and sea salt-removed PM 2.5 data indicate that human activity is a significant contributor to severe particulate pollution.
According to the study, this is most likely owing to the region's population density being roughly three times that of the rest of the country, resulting in increased pollution from automotive, residential, and agricultural sources.
"Almost all of the global lifespan impact of air pollution exists in just six countries: Nigeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, India and Indonesia."
"Where individuals lose one to over six years of their lives as a result of the air they breathe," said Michael Greenstone, Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and developer of AQLI.