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Hyderabad: Air pollution taking a toll on lives

Hyderabad: Air pollution taking a toll on lives
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Two third of premature deaths are attributed to human made air pollution mainly from the use of fossil fuel

THE SILENT KILLER

Air pollution shortens life by 3.1 years

♦ As per the recent report by the Energy Policy Institute at The University of Chicago (EPIC) life expectancy of nearly 36 million residents of Telangana shortened by 3.1 years due to air pollution.

♦ The report also stated that air pollution has reduced the average life expectancy of an Indian by 5.2 years. The report is based on an analysis of 20 years of pollution levels. The authors of the study use a tool — the Air Quality-Life Index (AQLI) — that estimates the effect air pollution has on life expectancy.

Hyderabad: Two third of premature deaths are attributed to human made air pollution mainly from the use of fossil fuel. Around five and half million deaths every year across the world are avoidable if we can maintain a pollution free environment says experts.

Air pollution cuts global life expectancy by two years, according to new data from the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI). The AQLI, which converts particulate air pollution into its impact on life expectancy has revealed that before COVID-19, air pollution was the greatest threat to human health and cutting life expectancy by five years.

Air pollution, mainly from burning fossil fuels, reduces life expectancy worldwide by an average of almost two to three years, an impact greater than smoking, HIV/AIDS, vector-borne diseases such as malaria, and violence, according to a new study in Cardiovascular Research.

"The proportion attributable to fossil fuel use goes up to 80 percent in industrial areas, using biomass as a cooking fuel also impacts on air and creates pollution which will gradually lead to permanent respiratory illness among the residents living in the industrial areas and they die little early than a safe air breathing person.

Whereas here we can't point out only the air pollution as a biggest and only reason for the death but the impact of pollution on person health is high along with his long time illness. Household air pollution is one of the leading causes of disease and premature death in the developing world," said D Prasad, Environmental Scientist(Air), TSPCB.

If the air quality is especially poor, it may take a few days for your body to recover from any respiratory illness. And if you're regularly exposed to high levels of unhealthy air, the health consequences can linger for months or even years.

People with lung diseases, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Infants and young children, People who work or exercise outdoors, Adults over 65, People with cardiovascular disease are more affected with air pollution, he added.

The World Health Organization estimates that 4.6 million people die each year from causes directly attributable to air pollution. Many of these mortalities are attributable to indoor air pollution. Worldwide more deaths per year are linked to air pollution than to automobile accidents.

The study looked at natural sources of air pollution, such as wildfires and dust storms, and also man-made ones, such as burning biomass. But the study pointed out that the largest contributor to air pollution is fossil fuel use by power plants, industry, transportation and the residential sector.

If there were no more fossil fuel emissions, average life expectancy around the world would increase by 1.1 years, the study found. If all man-made air pollution sources were eliminated, life expectancy would rise by 1.7 years.

"Long-term exposure to polluted air can have permanent health effects such as, Accelerated aging of the lungs, Loss of lung capacity and decreased lung function, Development of diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and damage to people's nerves, brain, kidneys, liver, and other organs," said Dr Vijay Kumar, Pulmonologist.

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