By Chetan Bhattacharji
A new report by the Energy Policy Institute of the University of Chicago (EPIC.) says that air pollution is a bigger killer than coronavirus, much worse than conflict and terrorism. India has the second-worst air pollution in the world, after Bangladesh, its research shows. All of India’s 1.4 billion people live in areas where the annual average particulate pollution exceeds the World Health Organization’s standards. If pollution levels persist, almost 250 million people in northern India could lose more than eight years of life expectancy.
Published in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, the Air Quality Life Index, 2020, annual update report says, “Air pollution was the greatest risk to human health before COVID-19 and will be after COVID-19.”
Air pollution has deadly effects on a person’s heart, lungs, brain and other systems and organs, its impact more devastating than even conflict and terrorism. The report says the average life expectancy lost per person due to air pollution is 1.9 years but 23 days due to war and terrorism.