Skip to main content

Of 1.1 million pollution-related deaths in India, 75% happened in rural areas, says Massachusetts study

Factors contributing to pollution-attributable mortality
Counterview Desk
A new study has found that high pollution levels contributed to nearly 1.1 million deaths in 2015, or 10.6% of the total number of deaths in India, with "the burden falling disproportionately (75%) on rural areas". The study raises the alarm that if no action is taken, "population exposures to PM2.5 are likely to increase by more than 40% by 2050."
Coming close on the heels of the alarm being raised around high pollution levels in Delhi, the study insists, "The urban areas had slightly lower contributions to attributable mortality from residential biomass combustion (22.9% in urban areas compared with 25.1% in rural areas), open burning (5.7% compared with 6.2%), and distributed diesel (1.5% compared with 2.0%), and somewhat larger contributions from coal combustion (16.3% compared with 15.3%) and dust (39.6% compared with 37.2%)."
Noting that the Indo-Gangetic plains were found to be particularly more polluted compared to the rest of India, the study, providing a further breakup, the study says, India experienced a 48% rise in pollution-related deaths compared to 1990, adding, of the 1.09 million deaths in India in 2015, as many as 644,000 were men and 447,000 women.
The study says, "Residential biomass burning is the largest individual contributor to the burden of disease in India", with "residential biomass burning responsible for 267,700 deaths", or 25% of the total, the study says, "These burden estimates do not include the considerable additional burden from indoor exposure to biomass burning."
Pollution levels across India
Stating that "coal combustion and open burning also contribute substantially to disease burden", the study -- "Burden of Disease Attributable to Major Air Pollution Sources in India", published by the Health Effects Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, US, and carried out by scholars of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and the University of Washington -- says, roughly evenly split between industrial sources and thermal power plants, it was "responsible for 169,300 deaths (15.5%)."
Other sources of pollution related deaths, says the study, include open burning of agricultural residue responsible for 66,200 (6.1%), followed by transportation contributing 23,100 deaths, distributed diesel contributing 20,400 deaths, and brick production contributing to 24,100 deaths."
Underlining that compared with nearly 1.1 million deaths in 2015, deaths attributable to high pollution levels are projected to rise to 3.6 million with no action, the study believes, "Aggressive action could avoid nearly 1.2 million deaths; all major sectors will need to achieve reductions in air pollution to reduce disease burden."
The study claims, its "comprehensive air pollution estimates available from both satellite and Indian ground-level measurements of fine particulate matter indicate that 99.9% of the Indian population is estimated to live in areas where the World Health Organization Air Quality Guideline for fine particulate matter was exceeded in 2015."

Comments

TRENDING

Did Modi promote Dholavira, a UNESCO site now, as Gujarat CM? Facts don't tally

By Rajiv Shah  As would generally happen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet – that not only was he “absolutely delighted” with the news of UNESCO tag to Dholavira, but he “ first visited ” the site during his “student days and was mesmerised by the place” – is being doubted by his detractors. None of the two tweets, strangely, even recalls once that it’s a Harappan site in Gujarat.

Labelling a Jesuit a Marxist? It's like saying if you use a plane, you become American

Jesuits: Cedric Prakash, Stan Swamy By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* A thirteen- fourteen-year-old has many dreams! That's an impressionable age; at the cusp of finishing school. It is also a time when one tastes a different kind of freedom: to go for camps with boys of your own age (not with ones family). Such camps and outings were always enjoyed to the hilt. The ones, however, which still remain etched in my memory are the mission camps to the Jesuit missions in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Giant conglomerates 'favoured': Whither tribal rights for jal-jungle-jameen?

Prafull Samantara By Mohammad Irshad Ansari*  The struggle for “Jal, Jungle and Jameen” has been a long-drawn battle for the tribal communities of India. This tussle was once again in the limelight with the proposed diamond mining in the Buxwaha forest of Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh). The only difference in this movement was the massive social media support it gained, which actually seems to tilt the scale for the tribal people in a long time.

If not Modi, then who? Why? I (an ordinary citizen) am there! Main hoon naa!

By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  The number of women ministers is doubled in early July from the first term after cabinet reshuffle by the present government led by Narendra Modi. While there were 06 women ministers in the previous term, this term there are 11. The previous two governments led by Dr Manmohan Singh had 10 women ministers in each tenure. Are these number of women ministers something to rejoice in the near 75 years of independence? Yes maybe, if we think that things are slowly improving in the patriarchal system. This change is less likely to achieve gender balance in the parliament otherwise we require more than 11 as per the 33% reservation . This change is also less likely because the men politicians’ inability to handle the country’s mess is becoming more and more evident and especially during the corona crisis. Seems, the addition of more women ministers may be a result of the recent assembly elections where women played a decisive role in the election results. For example

Effluent discharge into deep sea? Modi told to 'reconsider' Rs 2275 crore Gujarat project

Counterview Desk  In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, well-known Gujarat-based environmentalist, Mahesh Pandya of the Paryavaran Mitra, has protested against the manner in with the Gujarat government is continuing with its deep sea effluent disposal project despite environmental concerns.

Gujarat govt gender insensitive? Cyclone package for fisherfolk 'ignores' poor women

By Our Representative A memorandum submitted to the Gujarat government by various fisherfolk associations of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat under the leadership of Ahmedabad NGO Centre for Social Justice's senior activist Arvind Khuman, who is based in Amreli, has suggested that the relief package offered to the fishermen affected by the Tauktae cyclone is not only inadequate, it is also gender insensitive.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Debt bondage, forced labour, sexual abuse in Gujarat's Bt cottonseed farms: Dutch study

By Rajiv Shah  A just-released study, sponsored by a Netherlands-based non-profit, Arisa , “Seeds of Oppression Wage sharecropping in Bt cottonseed production in Gujarat, India”, has said that a new form of bondage, or forced labour, exists in North India’s Bt cottonseed farms, in which bhagiyas, or wage sharecroppers, are employed against advances and are then often required to work for years together “without regular payment of wages.”

Covid: We failed to stop religious, political events, admits Modi-dharmacharya meet

Counterview Desk An email alert sent by one the 11 participants, Prof Salim Engineer, on behalf of the Dharmik Jan Morcha regarding their "religious leaders' online meet" with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even as offering "support to meet challenges of Corona pandemic", blames religious congregations, though without naming the Maha Kumbh and other religious events, which apparently were instrumental in the spread of the second wave.