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Report: Air pollution killed 123,000 people in Bangladesh in 2017

  • Published at 07:59 am April 4th, 2019
Air pollution
File photo: Bangladesh, one of the most densely-populated countries in the world, has been struggling with air pollution for a long time, while Dhaka has continued to rank among the most polluted cities Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The report has also revealed that South Asia is the most polluted area in the world

A new study on global air pollution has reported that at least 123,000 people died in Bangladesh in 2017 due to indoor and outdoor air pollution. Two US-based institutes—the Health Effects Institute (HEI) and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)—released a detailed report on air quality, "State of Global Air-2019,"on Wednesday.

The report said the life of a South Asian child could be shortened, on average, by 30 months as they are growing up in high levels of air pollution, reports UNB.

The State of Global Air 2019, which used data from the period 1990-2017, estimated that if air pollution levels met the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, life expectancy in Bangladesh would have seen the highest expected gain of nearly 1.3 years.

Also Read- UN expert calls air pollution ‘the silent killer’

The report revealed that South Asia is the most polluted area in the world, adding that air pollution worldwide was responsible for more deaths than many better-known risk factors such as malnutrition, alcohol abuse, and physical inactivity.

Air quality in Asia remained stubbornly poor; especially in Bangladesh where the entire population has been exposed to PM2.5 levels above 35 μg/m3 since 1990, according to the third annual State of Global Air report.

The study found that China and India, together, were responsible for over half of the total attributable global deaths, with each country witnessing over 1.2 million deaths from all air pollution in 2017. China has made initial progress, beginning to achieve a decline of air-pollution.

Out of these, 3 million deaths are directly attributed to PM2.5, half of which are from India and China together. The South Asian region—Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan—led the world as the most polluted, with over 1.5 million air-pollution related deaths according to the report.

Also Read- Children in South Asia hardest hit by air pollution

Overall, long-term exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution contributed to nearly 5 million deaths from: stroke, diabetes, heart attack, lung cancer, and chronic lung disease in 2017.

In 2017, air pollution was the fifth highest mortality risk factor globally and was associated with loss of 147 million years of healthy life, the report added.

"In 2017, annual PM2.5 exposures were highest in South Asia," it said.

The study found that 3.6 billion people—47% of the global population—were exposed to household air pollution from the use of solid fuels for cooking in 2017. This exposure was most common in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia.

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