New Delhi: A new research by the US-based Health Effects Institute (HEI) has found that more than 95 percent people breathe polluted air that exceeds the World Health Organization's healthy limit for pollution.
HEI’s State of Global Air 2018, a special report on global exposure to air pollution, found that pollution was responsible for 6.1 million deaths in 2016, with outdoor air pollution being the largest contributor, accounting for 4.1 million deaths.
Air pollution has been linked to higher rates of cancer, stroke and heart disease, as well as chronic respiratory conditions like asthma.
The research was conducted by using satellite data and improved monitoring tools to assess the impact of air pollution across the globe.
According to the study, India and China account for more than half of global deaths from outdoor air pollution. Indoor and outdoor forms of air pollution contributed to an estimated six million deaths worldwide in 2016 — accounting for an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and lung cancer.
The report states that residential biomass burning was the largest individual contributor to disease burden in India.
“Residential biomass burning was responsible for 267,700 deaths or nearly 25% of the deaths attributable to PM2.5, making it the most important single anthropogenic source related to mortality in 2015. Coal combustion, roughly evenly split between industrial sources and thermal power plants, was responsible for 169,300 deaths (15.5%) in 2015'', as per the study.
The study has also reported that if no further action is being taken, population exposure to particulate matter is likely to increase by over 40% by 2050.