A study shows, Delhi’s residents can gain nine years in their average life span if it cleans up its foul air.
The Energy Policy Institute (EPIC) at the University of Chicago, developed the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI), which states, the average life span of Indians can be extended up to four years in average, if the air quality meets the WHO standards.
The research took air borne particulate matter (PM) pollution into account, and studied to understand if changes in volume of PM impact the life span of residents.
PM 2.5, which is a product of vehicular and industrial emissions is categorized as ‘air borne ultra-fine particulate’. The under 2.5-microns particulate can cause irreversible impairment in humans if it enters the respiratory system, and eventually into the bloodstream.
The research, divulging the details, showed that if PM 2.5 quantity in Delhi is in accordance with WHO’s annual standard of 10 microgram per cubic meter (ug/m3), megapolis dwellers can live up to nine years longer.
Moreover, citizens can see an increase of six years in their life expectancy, if the PM quantity is within the national standard of 40 ug/m3.
According to the AQLI’s research, if India reduced its air pollution to comply with WHO’s air quality standards, citizens could live four years longer on an average, which combines to more than 4.7 billion life years.
Michael Greenstone, Director of EPIC said, “AQLI suggests that particulates are the greatest environmental risks to human health. It impacts the life expectancy globally. It is akin to the effects of smoking for several decades.”
Globally, Delhi has been topping the list of the most polluted cities. The city is preparing to combat pollution before it reaches lethal levels, especially during winter.