Rising air pollution could cut the life expectancy of people living in South Asia by five years shorter. South Asia is one of the most polluted regions in the world, according to a report published on Tuesday, August 29, 2023. This region, which includes the most polluted countries in the world, such as Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. These four countries account for more than half of the total life years lost globally to pollution, according to the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute (EPIC) Air Pollution Makes People in South Asia Shorter by 5 Years in a recent report on the Quality of Life Index.
Rapid industrialization and population growth have contributed to the decline in air quality in South Asia. The level of particulate pollution today is 50 percent higher than at the beginning of the 20th century. The health hazard is even greater. People in Bangladesh, the world’s most polluted country, are expected to lose an average of 6.8 years of life per person, compared to 3.6 months in the United States, according to a study that used satellite data to calculate the impact of air pollution on life expectancy.
India is responsible for around 59 percent of the increase in world pollution since 2013
the report says. Dirty air will further shorten life in some of the country’s more polluted areas. In densely populated New Delhi, the world’s most polluted megacity, average life expectancy was reduced by more than 10 years.
The average resident of Pakistan will get 3.9 years if he meets WHO guidelines limiting the average annual airborne PM index concentration of 2.5 to 5 micrograms per cubic metre. Meanwhile, people in Nepal would live 4.6 years longer if the guidelines were met, according to the report. Meanwhile, China has made efforts to reduce pollution by 42.3 percent between 2013 and 2021, according to the report.