India Ranked Number One In The World For Pollution-Related Deaths

India Ranked Number One In The World For Pollution-Related Deaths


  1. Highest number of pollution-related deaths take place in India
  2. 2.51 million deaths due to pollution took place in 2015 itself
  3. India accounts for 28% of premature deaths due to pollution in the world
An international commission reported highest number of pollution-related deaths in India. The stats reveal a staggering 2.51 million deaths due to pollution in 2015 itself. Not only had this, of the 9 million estimated number of premature pollution-related deaths around the world, Indian accounts for 28% of the total number. The leading cause of it all, air pollution killed over 6.5 million people around the world. India and Bangladesh witnessed the highest level of increase in the number of deaths among the 10 most populated countries in the world. The results were published in the journal, The Lancet.

Almost one-fourth of the total number of deaths in 2015 was attributed to air pollution. Also, countries like Pakistan, China, Bangladesh and Kenya too had a similar scenario with one in four deaths due to pollution. Indian witnessed a total number of 1.81 air pollution related deaths followed by 0.64 million deaths due to water pollution.

Deaths from indoor air pollution were as many as 0.97 million and half a million were due to unsafe water consumption and improper sanitation, 0.32 million deaths were reported.

As compared to neighbouring countries like China with a mortality rate of 1.58 million due to air pollutipn, Indian witnessed 0.64 million deaths due to the same.

Particulate matter was a leading cause of pollution-related deaths in a number of cities of India and China. Over half of the ambient air pollution deaths in the world took place in India and China when the study was being conducted.

Diseases which cause pollution-related deaths included heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Such non-communicable diseases are the leading causes of pollution-related deaths in the country. For this, The Lancet pointed towards industrialization, globalization and urbanization. It explained why there was a serious need to bring this under control.

Then in 2015, all forms of pollution together accounted for 21% of the total number of cardiovascular deaths taking place across the globe. The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health involves as many as 40 international health and environmental authors and is a two-year long project. This report was led by Philip Landrigan from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, US.


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