New Delhi: A quarter of all air pollution-related deaths in India are due to domestic emissions. This claim has been made in the first Global Sources Appraisal Study. The study, published in Nature Communications, analyzed the number of deaths due to air pollution from specific sources in 2017 and 2019.
The study identified 15 polluting sources of household emissions from burning biofuels (indoor air pollution due to emissions from cooking, heating). Of this, particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5) accounted for about one-fourth (25.7%) in 2017 and 2019. It was followed by industry (14.8%) and energy (12.5%), agriculture (9.4%), transport (6.7%).
A quarter of deaths can be avoided by stopping the burning of solid biofuels
The total deaths due to PM 2.5 in the country are estimated at 866,566 and 953,857 in 2017 and 2019 respectively. The analysis said that a quarter of these deaths could have been avoided by eliminating the burning of solid biofuels, which are mainly used for domestic heating and cooking.
More deaths in China and India due to PM 2.5
The study claimed that globally in 2017, one million deaths could have been avoided by eliminating fossil fuel burning, of which coal contributed more than half. It also stated that China and India are responsible for 58% of PMs globally, causing a large number of deaths.
Citing examples, it said that household emissions are the biggest source of average PM 2.5 risk of mortality in China and India. The areas around Beijing and Singrauli (Madhya Pradesh) have a relatively large contribution from the energy and industry sectors.
Study starting point for many countries
“This study provides a global perspective on the importance of various sources and a starting point for many countries that have not yet addressed air pollution as a health concern,” said lead researcher Michael Breuer.
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