A new study has revealed that India and China accounted for more than 50 percent of the global deaths from air pollution in 2015. The study, published on Tuesday by the Health Effects Institute (HEI), found that air pollution was the cause of 4.2 million deaths around the world in 2015. 2.2 million of those deaths happened in China and India, the two most populous countries in the world.
The study reveals that deaths from air pollution are a lot higher than estimated in recent years. The numbers are not only higher from the estimates last year but also 1.2 million more than what was estimated by the World Health Organization back in 2012.
China and India each accounted for 1.1 million air pollution related deaths. The study also revealed that 92 percent of the world’s population is living in areas where air is not healthy. According to a recent survey by the World Health Organization, the air quality in New Delhi, the capital of India, is the worst in the world. In November 2016, the government declared the severe levels of air pollution in the capital an emergency situation. During that month, air pollution was so severe that the government decided to temporarily close schools and construction sites. India is now close to overtaking China as the country with the most air pollution related deaths. A study in 2016 revealed that India had half of the world’s 20 most polluted cities.
China, the world’s most populous country with a population of over 1.381 billion people, has the air pollution problem continue, despite efforts to reduce it. In 2015, a study revealed that air pollution in China was responsible for the deaths of 1.6 million people every year. In December 2016, Beijing authorities declared a five day pollution alert. Schools were closed after the announcement and residents were told to stay at home. Last month, heavy smog also covered parts of China. Vehicle use and the burning of coal in factories and power plants are said to be some of the reasons for the high levels of air pollution in China.