Sunday, February 22, 2015

Blog #3: Polluted Air Cuts Years off Lives of Millions in India, Study Finds

Polluted Air Cuts Years off Lives of Millions in India, Study Finds

Last year, the World Health Organization study found that thirteen of the twenty most polluted cities in the world are in India. New Delhi’s air is the world’s worst. As a result of the polluted air in India, India’s government has made economic expansion its priority. The government has anticipated doubling the country’s use of coal over the next five years. Unfortunately, this gesture is likely to worsen the country’s air pollution.

According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Chicago, Yale, and Harvard, more than half of India’s population lives in places with polluted air. Each person living under these conditions loses an average of 3.2 years in life expectancy. As a result of air population in India, 660 million Indians could lose a total of 2.1 billion years. Michael Greenstone, an author of the study and director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, said that the study demonstrates that air pollution retards growth by causing people to die prematurely.

Research has shown that India’s air pollution ordeals may eventually decrease agricultural production by one-third. This explains why wheat and rice yields in India have begun to decline in some states after decades of growing.


During these past couple of weeks, I have realized that my vision is skewed towards the rest of the world. I have always known that air pollution was a serious problem, and all places experience it in some way. However, I did not know the severity of it and its impact on the residents in India. I commend India’s government for trying to find a way to assist this problem, but there has to be another alternative that wouldn’t be detrimental to people’s living environment, such as a decline in wheat and rice yields. 

Shane' Lennon

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