Air pollution is a giant killer in India and exposure to indoor and outdoor pollution has contributed to 1.2 million deaths in the country in 2017, a new global study said on Wednesday. South Asia is most polluted area in the world, it added.
The study "State of Global Air 2019" reported that the life on average of a South Asian child growing up in current high levels of air pollution will be shortened by two years and six months.
In India, more people were killed by air pollution than smoking. It is, in fact, the third highest cause of death among all health risks, the study showed.
Long-term exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution contributed to nearly five million deaths from stroke, diabetes, heart attack, lung cancer and chronic lung disease in 2017, it said.
It is the first time that diabetes 2 is added to major health risk of air pollution.
In South Asia -- Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan -- 1.5 million died due to air-pollution related reasons, the study said. Of these, three million deaths are directly attributed to PM2.5, half of which are generated from India and China together.
Worldwide too, more people globally die from air pollution related diseases than from road traffic injuries, malaria, malnutrition, alcohol use or physical inactivity.
The study showed impact of air pollution in the world and showed that a child born today will die 20 months sooner, on average, than would be expected without air pollution.
The report also highlighted that nearly half of the world's population -- a total of 3.6 billion people -- were exposed to household air pollution in 2017.
The major sources of pollution, as per the study, are household solid fuels, dust from construction, coal power plants, brick production, transportation and diesel-powered equipment, among others.
The study noted India's steps to curb household air pollution. India has initiated major steps to address pollution sources like the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, accelerated Bharat Stage VI clean vehicle standards and the new National Clean Air Programme, the report said.
(With Inputs From IANS)