A new study, led by Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-Bombay), has revealed that a total of 80,665 premature deaths of adults over 30 years occurred due to air pollution in Delhi and Mumbai in 2015.

Air Pollution Delhi

The study carried out by the researchers at the IIT-Bombay finds a spiky rise in the number of deaths, a two-fold jump from 1995, according to a report from TOI.

To put this horrific damage into economic terms, air pollution cost Delhi and Mumbai $10.66 billion (approximately Rs 70,000 crore) in 2015, or about 0.71% of the country’s gross domestic product. According to the study, the impact on health and productivity as a result of exposure to pollution and the resulting burden of respiratory ailments rose with every passing decade.

Pollution in Delhi

Researchers at IIT-Bombay calculated impact using data on PM 10 (fine particulate matter measuring 10 microns), population and death toll. PM10, since smaller particles can travel more deeply into our lungs and cause more harmful effects. With its higher pollution levels, Delhi recorded more premature deaths due to ingestion of PM10 from vehicle exhaust, construction dust and other industrial processes. Casualties went up from 19,716 in 1995 to 48,651 in 2015. Whereas in Mumbai, the comparative figure rose from 19,291 to 32,014 in 20 years.

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“The worsening quality of air in the city also led to 64,037 emergency room visits in 2015 by those stricken by respiratory ailments, up by 35.4% from 1995. In comparison, in Delhi, there were 29 million cases of RAD and 0.12 million emergency room visits in 2015.” – TOI

Traffic jam in Delhi

In the commercial capital in 2015, air pollution was also accountable for 23 million cases of restricted activity days (RAD) — either days off or less productive days for individuals.

The study has published recently in the Environmental Science and Pollution Research Journal.

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