India has become a permanent member of the list of countries that feature as the top 10 most polluted nations in the world, with yet another report claiming that 14 lakh Indians died in 2013 due to polluted air.

The report, ‘The Cost of Air Pollution’, released by World Bank in collaboration with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, puts India at the sixth place among the world’s ten most polluted countries. 

b’Representational Image | Source: PTI’

In terms of deaths, India has the second highest toll, preceded only by China (16 lakh in 2013). Why is it the 6th most polluted then? The answer lies in the size of the sample population. China and India are two of the most populous nations, thus a 14 lakh or 1.4 million death toll essentially means 1,097 deaths per million. 

In Georgia, the country termed most polluted, the total death toll for 2013 was 7,995, almost half the toll in India. But in terms of its total population, it means there were 2,117 deaths in Georgia per million people. 

Air pollution is considered the fourth most dangerous health risk globally, preceded only by metabolic risks, dietary risks and tobacco smoke. 

Let’s take a look at some pollution figures in India: 

In numbers, Georgia is the most polluted country, (highest pollution related deaths per million) followed by Cambodia. China comes in at 4th place, India at 6th and Bangladesh at 11th. Pakistan is at 15th place, globally. 

That is equivalent to almost 8.5 per cent of India’s GDP.

 5.5 million people die each year throughout the world due to exposure to foul, polluted air. 

Between 1990 to 2013, Ozone levels have gone up from 10 to 30 percent. There has been a 50 per cent hike in Ozone related deaths in South Asia in that period. 

Three of these cities are in China 

Damage is caused mostly to wheat and paddy crops, and causes immense damage to food supply 

No, it’s not Delhi. Gwalior is the second most polluted city in the world and the most polluted city in India. Most polluted city in the world is Zobal, in Iran. 

Delhi is the 5th most polluted city in India, and 9th in the world, with considerably high levels of of PM 2.5 concentrations.

In 2011, PM 2.5 caused 5.7 lakh premature deaths in India while ozone caused 12,000 deaths. It cost India $6.4 million, which is ten times what India spent on healthcare that year. 

(Feature Image Source: PTI)

(Designs made by: Suvojyoti Ray)