New Delhi, September 1: A study by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) has found that 480 million people in northern India face the "most extreme levels of air pollution in the world."

Indian cities routinely dominate global pollution rankings and bad air kills more than a million people every year, the BBC reported. The report by EPIC said that north India breathes "pollution levels that are 10 times worse than those found anywhere else in the world".

This air pollution has spread over decades beyond the region to western and central Indian states such as Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, where the average person is now losing between two-and-a-half to three years of life expectancy as compared to early 2000, the study said. Air pollution can reduce the life expectancy of Indians by nine years, said a report by a US research group. Air Pollution Could Cut Life Expectancy by 9 Years in North India, in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh by Additional 2.5 Years: Study.

The EPIC study said that 480 million people in northern India face the "most extreme levels of air pollution in the world", and, over time, these high levels have expanded to cover other parts too. Strong clean air policies can add up to five years to people's lives, it added.

New data from the Air Quality Life Index report by EPIC said that residents in Delhi could see up to 10 years added to their lives if air pollution is reduced to meet the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline of 10 �g/m3, the BBC reported. In 2019, India's average particulate matter concentration was 70.3 �g/m3 - the highest in the world.

The report said that Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan, which together account for nearly a quarter of the global population, consistently figure in the list of top five most polluted countries on earth.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 01, 2021 05:23 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website