Air Pollution Shortens Child Life Expectancy by 30 Months in South Asia

The State of Global Air report is out with some startling facts about the deteriorating air quality and its drastic repercussions on the world, especially South Asia.

The report states that air pollution is going to shorten the life expectancy of children born today by 20-month average and will impact South Asia the most. Moreover, air pollution is the fifth major cause of premature death across the globe.

In fact, it causes more deaths than malaria, malnutrition, road accidents, or alcohol. The report added, “the loss of life expectancy is not borne equally”. The children in South Asia are more prone to having their lives reduced by 30 months because of a combination of dirty indoor and outdoor air pollution.

For East Asia, reduction in child life expectancy was estimated at 23 months, as compared to around 20 weeks for children in developed parts of the Asia Pacific and North America.


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Moreover, the top five countries with the highest mortality rate due to air pollution belonged to Asia, mostly South Asia. These countries include China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Bangladesh.

China remained the country with the highest mortality rate because of air pollution that caused around 852,000 pollution-related deaths in 2017.

The report further reveals that 147 million years of healthy life across the globe fell victim to pollution in 2017. It estimates that if the air pollution levels are controlled as per the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, life expectancy in Bangladesh will increase by 1.3 years, while India, Pakistan, and Nigeria will see a rise of 1 year.

The report has been published by the US-based Health Effects Institute and the University of British Columbia.