Indians can live four extra years if air-quality standards are met
India being one of the most polluted countries globally, just meeting the international air-quality standards can add “four years” to the average life of people here, while meeting the national standards can add one year, says a study. The study released by the Energy Policy Institute at The University of Chicago (EPIC), which used “Air-Quality-Life Index (AQLI)” to analyse condition in 50 most polluted Indian cities, also found that meeting the international standards can add nine years and national standards can add six years to the life of people of Delhi — the most polluted city of India. AQLI is a tool which can be used to quantify the number of years that air pollution reduces lifespans around the globe.Based on the particulate matters (PM 2.5), or particles in the air with diameter less than 2.5 mm — one of the major and common pollutant with direct consequences on the life expectancy, the EPIC used AQLI to compare the pollutant (PM), population and the prescribed standards to derive how much extra years people could live.The standards prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for PM 2.5 is 10 units, while the Indian standard keeps it at 40 units. However, in the 50 most polluted cities, the pollutant (based on 2015 data) were found to be over nine to two times higher than the WHO standards.