Bangladesh can raise life expectancy by improving air quality: Study
Published: 01:47 PM, 1 September 2021 Updated: 04:31 PM, 1 September 2021
Bangladesh could raise average life expectancy by 5.4 years if the country improved air quality to levels recommended by the World Health Organization, according to a study.
The study, conducted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), ascertains how much longer a person can live if they breathe clean air.
According to the report, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan account for nearly a quarter of the global population and consistently rank among the top five most polluted countries in the world.
As a result, South Asia accounts for 60% of the person-years that are expected to be lost globally due to pollution levels exceeding the WHO guideline.
For Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan, the data reveals that the average person would live 5.4 years longer if pollution were reduced to meet the WHO guidelines, it added.
“Due to South Asia’s high population and pollution concentrations, the region accounts for 58% of total life years lost due to particulate pollution exceeding the WHO guideline,” the report said.
Meanwhile, the report also claimed that air pollution is likely to reduce the life expectancy of more than 480 million people or about 40 percent of India's population by more than nine years.
According to the report, more than 480 million people living in the vast swathes of central, eastern and northern India, including the capital New Delhi, endure significantly high pollution levels.
Residents of northern India are on track to lose more than nine years of life expectancy if pollution levels of that of 2019 persist as the region experiences the most extreme levels of air pollution in the world, it said.