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Air Pollution Accounted For 8.1 Million Deaths Globally In 2021: Report

Air pollution is the second-leading risk factor for death globally, putting it ahead of tobacco and poor diet, according to the fifth edition of the State of Global Air (SoGA) report

Air Pollution Accounted For 8.1 Million Deaths Globally In 2021: Report
Children under five years old are especially vulnerable to the health impacts of air pollution, finds the State of Global Air (SoGA) report

New Delhi: Air pollution accounted for 8.1 million deaths globally in 2021, becoming the second leading risk factor for death, a report prepared in partnership with UNICEF revealed. Air pollution is the second-leading risk factor for death globally, putting it ahead of tobacco and poor diet, according to the fifth edition of the State of Global Air (SoGA) report. The report released on Wednesday (June 19) has been prepared by the Health Effects Institute (HEI), an independent US-based non-profit research organisation. The report has been produced for the first time in partnership with UNICEF.

Also Read: India, Bangladesh, And Pakistan Bottom In Air Quality Rankings In 2023, Reports

The report said,

Air pollution is having an increasing impact on human health, becoming the second leading global risk factor for death. The report found air pollution accounted for 8.1 million deaths globally in 2021.

Beyond these deaths, many more millions of people are living with debilitating chronic diseases, putting tremendous strains on healthcare systems, economies, and societies due to air pollution.

The report finds that children under five years old are especially vulnerable, with health effects including premature birth, low birth weight, asthma and lung diseases.

Dr. Pallavi Pant, HEI’s Head of Global Health, who oversaw the SoGA report release said,

This new report offers a stark reminder of the significant impacts air pollution has on human health, with far too much of the burden borne by young children, older populations, and low- and middle-income countries.

Dr. Pant added,

This points sharply at an opportunity for cities and countries to consider air quality and air pollution as high-risk factors when developing health policies and other noncommunicable disease prevention and control programs.

Also Read: “World Air Quality Report 2023 Raises Red Flag Over Delhi’s Air Quality,” Says LG VK Saxena

The new SoGA Report offers a detailed analysis of recently released data from the Global Burden of Disease study from 2021 that shows the severe health impacts pollutants like outdoor fine particulate matter (PM2.5), household air pollution, ozone (O3), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are having on human health around the world.

The report includes data from more than 200 countries and territories around the world, indicating that nearly every person on Earth breathes unhealthy levels of air pollution every day, with far-reaching health implications.

Globally, some of the highest PM2.5 exposures are experienced across South Asia, although levels are beginning to stabilize in most countries, the report noted.

In the region, levels of ozone have also increased in the last decade, and in 2021, 56 per cent of all global ozone deaths were reported in South Asia.

The report finds that children under five years old are especially vulnerable, with health effects including premature birth, low birth weight, asthma and lung diseases. In 2021, exposure to air pollution was linked to more than 260,600 deaths of children under five years old, making it the second-leading risk factor for death in South Asia for this age group, after malnutrition.

Also Read: Awareness About Air Pollution-Related Terminologies Low Among Urban Poor In Delhi-NCR: Study

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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