'Air pollution shortened average Indian life expectancy by 5.2 yrs'

Air pollution has shortened the average Indian life expectancy by 5.2 years and residents of Delhi could see 9.4 years added to their lives if pollution were reduced to meet the WHO guideline, according to a new report.

A new analysis of the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) produced by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) found that across India’s total population, life expectancy would increase by 5.2 years if pollution is reduced in accordance with WHO guidelines.

“The particulate pollution has sharply increased over time. Since 1998, average annual particulate pollution has increased 42 per cent, cutting 1.8 years off the life of the average resident over those years,” the report noted. A quarter of India’s population is exposed to pollution levels not seen in any other country, with 248 million residents of northern India on track to lose more than 8 years of life expectancy if pollution levels persist, the report based on the analysis said.