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State of Global Air 2020

Topics Covered: Conservation and pollution related issues.

State of Global Air 2020:


The State of Global Air is a collaboration between the Health Effects Institute (HEI) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), with expert input from the University of British Columbia.

Key findings:

  • Long-term exposure to outdoor and household air pollution contributed to over 1.67 million annual deaths from stroke, heart attack, diabetes, lung cancer, chronic lung diseases and neonatal diseases in India in 2019.
  • Overall, air pollution was now the largest risk factor for death among all health risks in India.
  • For the youngest infants, most deaths were related to complications from low birth weight and preterm birth.
  • India faced the highest per capita pollution exposure — or 83.2 μg/cubic metre — in the world, followed by Nepal at 83.1 μg/cubic metre and Niger at 80.1.

Challenges ahead for India:

The government has claimed that average pollution levels in India are declining over the past three years.

But these have been marginal, particularly in the Indo-Gangetic plains which see extremely high particulate matter pollution especially during winter.

  • After a decline in pollution due to the nationwide lockdown in late March and the months-long process of reopening, pollution levels are again rising and air quality has dipped to ‘very poor’ category in several cities.
  • There is clear evidence linking air pollution and increased heart and lung disease. This newest evidence suggests an especially high risk for infants born in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Sources: the Hindu.