How Does Air Pollution Affect Life Expectancy in India’s Capital?

Air pollution is increasing and air quality in Delhi is deteriorating each year. The Indian capital is one of the most polluted cities in the world, with carcinogenic chemicals, nitrogen dioxide, and sulphur dioxide being emitted from vehicles and industry — these pollutants cause diseases including asthma, lung cancer, and even heart attacks.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled the city’s air quality as “very unhealthy” for days that are not windy. This means that it is worse than the pollution levels in Beijing, China, or Tehran, Iran, which were once designated as the world’s worst cities for air quality.

According to a new study (The Air Quality Life Index® & The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), the air pollution in Delhi could lead to ten years of life lost in the next two decades, and that’s not even counting the damage done on account of burning rich fuel. Millions of people are exposed to unhealthy levels of pollution every day which causes respiratory problems and heart disease. The report highlights that deteriorating air quality in the national capital will cause 20,000 deaths per year by 2030.

The air pollution in Delhi (and many other major cities of India) is causing an enormous number of lives to be lost. The pollution is proven to cause respiratory issues and heart problems. These consequences are alarming and need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Experts say that only an immediate, radical change can stave off this health crisis caused by air pollution. Hospitals are already strained by an influx of new patients suffering from chronic respiratory problems who will require care until the end of their lives. Doctors are on the verge of declaring a public health emergency that would require massive investment and mobilization.

Air quality or ambient/outdoor air pollution is represented by the annual mean concentration of particulate matter PM10 (particles smaller than 10 microns) and PM2.5 (particles smaller than 2.5 microns, about 25 to 100 times thinner than a human hair).


Levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Delhi are around ten times what is considered safe by the World Health Organization and the Centres for Disease Control. This worsens when parts of the city burn vast quantities of rich fuel to keep warm during winters, creating a health emergency for Delhi residents and adding to shorter life expectancy for every inhabitant.

The problem with air pollution is manifold. Unregulated construction activities, increased vehicles on roads, lack of effective public transport systems, and a booming economy are some of the reasons for the increase in air pollution. Delhi’s pollution problem is also caused by the factor of animal agriculture, as smog and other harmful particles are produced by farmers burning their crops.

If pollution levels continue to rise outside, the air inside buildings (commercial buildings, industrial environments, etc.), i.e., indoor air, will become polluted. As a result, indoor air quality will begin to affect our daily lives, as well as products and processes.

Why is indoor air quality so important?

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a term that refers to the air quality in your building, breathed in every day by the building’s occupants. The pollution levels in this indoor air can be up to 5 times higher than outdoor levels (in many cases up to 100 times higher), and people spend more than 90% of their time indoors! Additionally, poor IAQ ranks as one of the top five environmental risks to public health but is often overlooked by key decision makers.

To tackle poor indoor air quality in any indoor conditioned space it is recommended that to opt for a

I] Air Filtration Solutions [air filters, air purifiers, and other products]

[ Note: if you need any assistance on air filters/air purifier selection contact an air filtration solution provider near to you [someone like American Air Filter (AAF)- AAF is a company with an outstanding industry record. The company has provided clean air for more than 100 years now.]

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II] Reduce the usage of cleaning agents (cleaning agents may release aerosols, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), etc)

[Read our blog on – How to Get Rid Of Volatile Organic Compounds? –]

Still not sure where to start finding the right air filtration solutions for your premises contact our AAF representative today

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Delhi Air Pollution Is Cutting Lives Shorter by Almost 10 years: Report