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Study reveals pollution killed 2.5 million people in India during 2015

India has had the world’s highest number of deaths due to water, air and other forms of pollution in 2015. According to a study published in Lancet journal it was reported that pollution has killed as many as 2.5 million people in the country. Majority of the deaths are due to non-communicable diseases which are caused by pollution such as stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The study also reported that air pollution is the largest contributor which is linked to 6.5 million deaths in 2015 in the world, whereas water pollution caused 1.8 million deaths and workplace related pollution caused 0.8 million deaths. Almost 92 percent pollution related deaths occurred in low and middle income countries.

In countries which are rapidly industrializing like India, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, Kenya and Madagascar, the deaths caused due to pollution accounted for up to one in four, which is a significantly huge number. In 2015, the greatest number of deaths caused due to pollution was in India which accounted for 2.5 million deaths followed by China with 1.8 million deaths. The welfare losses caused due to pollution are estimated to cost more than USD 4.6 trillion every year which is equivalent to 6.2 per cent of global economic output. Pollution is also linked to an estimated nine million deaths every year across the world which is equivalent to one in six of all deaths and that is 16 per cent in total. The report also mentioned that pollution as a result of indoor air pollution, outdoor pollution, soil contamination and water pollution and chemical pollution posed as the largest risk factors for premature deaths in the country.

Pollution disproportionately affected the poor and marginalized in India as well as across countries in the world. Workplace pollution which included the exposure to carcinogens and toxins was linked to 0.8 million deaths from diseases like pneumoconiosis in coal workers, bladder cancer in dye workers and asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer and other cancers in those workers who were exposed to asbestos.

There are different types of pollution which are associated with industrial development, such as ambient air pollution, occupational pollution, soil pollution, chemical pollution. These have increased from 4.3 million in 1990 to 5.5 million in 2015 as the countries are reaching higher levels of development. The study also pointed that lead pollution was linked with 0.5 million deaths which resulted from renal failure, high blood pressure and cardio vascular disease which are caused due to lead in adults.

This shows the impact of rapid industrialization on the health and wellbeing of workers. Although the government takes various steps to reduce the impact of pollution, it does lead to an increasing number of deaths year after year. India being a developing country, ihas seen a massive number of deaths caused due to the different type of pollution across the nation. It has had a significant impact on various countries across the globe as well.

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