Deaths attributable to PM2.5 pollution in India have increased by 2.5 times over the last two decades, according to a new report by the Centre for Science and Environment.
The report released by Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav on Tuesday said India accounted for one out of every four deaths due to air pollution in 2019.
Data collated by the green think-tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and represented in its "State of India's Environment Report" showed that 6.67 million people died due to air pollution in the world. Of these, 1.67 million deaths occurred in India. China saw 1.85 million deaths due to air pollution.
The report said 4,76,000 infants died globally in their first month of life from health effects associated with air pollution exposure in 2019. Of these, 1,16,000 deaths occurred in India.
Poor air quality was the fourth leading risk factor for early death worldwide in 2019, surpassed only by high blood pressure, tobacco use and poor diet.
"Over the last two decades, deaths attributable to ambient PM2.5 in India has increased by 2.5 times -- from 2,79,500 in 1990 to 9,79,900 in 2019," the report read.
PM2.5 refers to fine particles which penetrate deep into the body and fuel inflammation in the lungs and respiratory tract, leading to the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory problems, including a weak immune system. Deaths attributable to ozone in India has increased by 2.9 times -- from 43,200 in 1990 to 1,68,000 in 2019, it said.
However, deaths due to household air pollution in the country decreased by over 40 per cent -- from 10,41,000 in 1990 to 6,06,900 in 2019, the data showed.
With PTI inputs.