State of Global Air Report 2019: Highlights

Published on Thursday, April 25, 2019
State of Global Air Report 2019: Highlights


  • The report is published by two US based institutes named Health Effects Institute (HEI) and Institute For Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

Key Findings

  • There is a strong inverse relationship between a country’s level of social and economic development and PM2.5 exposures experienced by its population.
  • In year 2017, annual PM2.5 exposures were the highest in South Asia.
  • Countries with the lowest national PM2.5 exposure levels are:
    1. Maldives
    2. United States
    3. Norway
    4. Estonia
    5. Iceland
    6. Canada
    7. Sweden
    8. New Zealand
    9. Brunei
    10. Finland.
  • Ozone pollution is still a continuing challenge in more developed countries and is also increasing in less developed areas which poses new air quality concerns.
  • Air pollution has collectively reduced life expectancy by 1 year and 8 months on average worldwide.
  • In 2017, exposure to PM2.5 pollution was found to be the third leading risk factor globally for Type 2 diabetes.
  • Both India and China have the highest health burden from air pollution which are followed by Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nigeria.

India Specific Findings

  • Air pollution is now the third highest cause of death among all health risks, ranking just above smoking, in India.
  • About 60% of India’s population was exposed to household pollution in 2017.
  • Entire Indian population has been living in areas with PM2.5 concentrations above the WHO Air Quality Guideline of 10 µg/m3.
  • Both India and China are accounted for more than 50% of global 5 million deaths due to air pollution.

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