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

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

India among heavily impacted by Covid-19, China 'notoriously' evading transparency

By NS Venkataraman* With the year 2020 inevitably ending in the next few weeks, the thought amongst the people all over the world is whether the coming year 2021 will be free of Covid-19 (often dubbed as Wuhan virus, as it known to have spread from Wuhan in China).In the early 2020, many people thought that Covid-19 would be a localized affair in China but later on, it proved to be a global pandemic.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

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".

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

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.