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Delhi’s economy suffered the most from severe air pollution last year, Lancet study shows – environment

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Delhi suffered the largest per capita economic loss due to air pollution last year in India, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Lancet on Tuesday.

The loss due to lost production due to premature deaths and diseases attributable to air pollution as a percentage of state GDP was 1.06% in Delhi. The largest GDP loss was recorded by Uttar Pradesh with 1.34%, followed by Punjab with 1.22%.

The study noted that India faces losses in its GDP and productivity due to the health impacts of air pollution. Deaths and illnesses in general due to air pollution have been linked to the loss of 1.36% of India’s GDP, according to the study.

Also read: Delhi pollution continues to rise, temperature will drop even further

Delhi’s per capita GDP loss was $ 62 followed by neighboring Haryana ($ 53.8).

In 2019, 1.67 million deaths in India were attributed to air pollution. They represented 17.8% of all deaths.

Between 1990 and 2019, the death rate per 100,000 inhabitants increased by 115.3% due to exposure to high levels of outdoor air pollution. The mortality rate from exposure to household air pollution has decreased by 64.2% due to a reduction in the use of solid fuels.

But the death rate due to ground-level ozone exposure also increased by 115% over the 29-year period.

CAUSES OF DALY (A) AND DEATHS (B) ATTRIBUTABLE TO AIR POLLUTION IN INDIA, 2019

Delhi's economy suffered the most from severe air pollution last year, Lancet study shows - environment

The study has estimated that the economic loss due to lost production due to premature deaths due to air pollution in India last year was US $ 28.8 billion and morbidity due to air pollution was US $ 8.0 billion. Of the total economic loss of $ 36.8 billion, 36.6% was due to lung disease, which included chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (21.1%), lower respiratory tract infections (14.2%), and lung cancer (1.2%). The rest were due to ischemic heart disease (24 · 9%), cerebrovascular accident (14 · 1%), diabetes (8 · 4%), neonatal disorders (13 · 3%), and cataracts (2 · 7%).

The study authors estimated the economic impact of air pollution based on output per worker. Output per worker in each state in 2019 was calculated as the share of labor in GDP multiplied by GDP in 2018-19 divided by the number of people employed. The labor share of each state’s GDP was estimated using data from Penn World Tables. To factor the number of people who were working by age group, data from the National Sample Survey on Employment and Unemployment for 2011-2012 were used.

LOSS TO THE STATE GDP

Delhi's economy suffered the most from severe air pollution last year, Lancet study shows - environment

“Air pollution has the potential to impede future human capital accumulation by reducing children’s survival, undermining their health and reducing their ability to benefit from education. Cost savings resulting from preventing productivity losses attributable to air pollution would contribute to the formation of new human capital, ”the study said. He cited the example of the United States, where it is estimated that every dollar invested in air pollution control since 1970 has produced an economic benefit of $ 30. There has been a substantial reduction in air pollution in the United States over the past few decades along with significant economic growth, according to the study.

The population-weighted average annual PM2 · 5 concentration in India was 91.7 micrograms per cubic meter last year. Exposure to PM 2.5 outdoors ranged from 15.8 micrograms per cubic meter in Kerala to 217.6 micrograms per cubic meter in Delhi, a difference of 13.8 times. Higher concentrations were found in the northern states.

TOTAL AND PER CAPITA GDP LOSS

Delhi's economy suffered the most from severe air pollution last year, Lancet study shows - environment

Professor Lalit Dandona, Director of India’s State-Level Burden of Disease Initiative and author of the study, said: “The economic impact of this loss of health due to lost productivity is enormous, with a 1, 4% of the country’s GDP in 2019, in addition to an estimated 0.4% of GDP spending on treating air pollution-related illnesses. The health and economic impact of air pollution is greatest in the less developed states of India, an inequity that must be addressed.

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