World’s highest levels of PM2.5 concentration in air, in the year 2019, was recorded in India, states State of Global Air 2020 Report. The report, released on October 21, showed that India recorded the worst annual average concentration of PM2.5 in 2019 leading to whooping 16,70,000 deaths attributed to air pollution in the year.
India has been witnessing an ascending trend in PM2.5 concentration since 2010. According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) 2019 report, the PM2.5 levels have seen a steep rise since the past three years owing to rising vehicular pollution and re-suspension of dust.
Moreover, the State of Global Air Report 2020 noted that 14 among the 20 most populous countries have recorded an improvement in air quality. Whereas, countries – India, Bangladesh Niger, Pakistan, and Japan have seen the air worsening in terms of rising PM2.5 concentration levels. The report listed India among the countries having the worst air quality and the status of Delhi was stated as the capital with the worst air. This weighed on to the poor livability aspect of the country.
Besides this, a US-based Health Effects Institute and GlobaBurden of Disease stated that In 2019, more than 1,16,000 infants died due to air pollution. The institute released the figures based on the State of Global Air Report 2020. The Institute added that India has the highest number of infant deaths attributed to air pollution followed by Nigeria with 67,900 deaths, Pakistan 56,500 deaths, Ethiopia 22,900 deaths and Democratic Republic of Congo with 12,700 deaths.