No country meets WHO air quality standard, life span cut by 2.3 years globally, report finds

According to a survey, air pollution reduces life expectancy globally by 2.3 years, which is more than smoking, drinking alcohol, using hazardous water, and car accidents put together. According to the just-released annual Air Quality Life Index report, which was made public on Tuesday, air pollution is the “most significant external threat to human life expectancy,” shortening it by 2.3 years on average around the world.

On Tuesday, August 22, 2023, Jakarta, Indonesia, had smoggy buildings and roads. More than 10 million people live in Jakarta, which has recently experienced dangerous air pollution levels; IQAir recently ranked Jakarta as the most polluted city in the world. Muhammad Fadli/Bloomberg is the photographer.

A paper comparing the impacts of inhaling dirty air to other health risks like smoking, consuming alcohol, using hazardous water, and automobile accidents was published by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. The report claims that air pollution is more harmful than all of them together.

In fact, it harms people more than three times as much as alcohol or contaminated water, and more than five times as much as injuries from car accidents.According to the analysis, not a single country in the world would meet the World Health Organization’s standard for air quality in 2021, which is 5 micrograms of pollutants per cubic meter of air (g/m3).

threat to public health than HIV/AIDS’

However, Africa and Asia, which bear more than 92% of the world load, account for the majority of the life expectancy decrease caused by air pollution.In certain areas, air pollution is a bigger danger to public health than both malaria and HIV/AIDS put together. They do not, however, have the infrastructure required to monitor and enhance air quality.According to Michael Greenstone, creator of the Air Quality Life Index and Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics, “three-quarters of air pollution’s impact on global life expectancy occurs in just six countries, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, China, Nigeria, and Indonesia, where people lose one to more than six years off their lives because of the air they breathe.”

The average Gautam Budh Nagar resident, which includes Noida and Greater Noida, may lose 11.3 years of their life after Delhi, followed by Gurugram (11.2 years), according to PTI (HT_PRINT).For instance, Bangladesh has the worst air pollution in the entire world, and its citizens die 6.8 years earlier than the global average. Americans only lose an average of 3.6 months, in contrast.To “build the infrastructure that is missing today,” particularly for timely, trustworthy, open-air quality data, the researchers suggested additional financing and cooperation.

“war against pollution”

The study also highlighted some success stories, such as China, which has decreased its air pollution by more than 42% in the last decade after declaring a “war against pollution.” As a result, even though their fine particulate matter levels are still six times higher than recommended, Chinese citizens have gained an average of 2.2 years of life.

FILE – On June 27, 2023, the Willis Tower (previously Sears Tower) is viewed in downtown Chicago, where the air quality has been classified as “unhealthy” by the US Environmental Protection Agency. According to the EPA, large portions of the northern United States awakened Monday, July 17, to bad air quality, or were experiencing it by midafternoon. Fine particle pollution from wildfire smoke in Canada is producing a red zone air quality index, which means it is harmful for everyone. (Photo by AP/Claire Savage, file)(AP)

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