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1.16L Infant Deaths In 2019 Due To Air pollution in India: Report

The first-ever comprehensive analysis of air pollution’s global impact on newborns finds that outdoor and household particulate matter pollution contributed to the deaths of more than 1,16,000 Indian infants in their first month of life in 2019, a new global study on Wednesday. However, the study found progress in reducing household air pollution exposures but levels stagnant for outdoor PM2.5. The report, State of Global Air 2020, said more than half of these deaths were associated with outdoor PM2.5 and others were linked to use of solid fuels such as charcoal, wood, and animal dung for cooking. Long-term exposure to outdoor and household air pollution contributed to over 1.67 million annual deaths from stroke, heart attack, diabetes, lung cancer, chronic lung diseases, and neonatal diseases in India in 2019. For the youngest infants, most deaths were related to complications from low birth weight and preterm birth. Overall, air pollution is now the largest risk factor for death among all health risks, according to the annual State of Global Air 2020 report published by the Health Effects Institute (HEI). The HEI is an independent, nonprofit research institute funded jointly by the US Environmental Protection Agency, industry, foundations, and development banks. India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal feature among the top 10 countries with the highest PM2.5 exposures in 2019; all of these countries experienced increases in outdoor PM2.5 levels between 2010 and 2019. Use of solid fuels for cooking, however, presents a pattern of moderate success. Since 2010, more than 50 million fewer people have been exposed to household air pollution.

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