Expert: Air pollution can reduce life expectancy

TIME.CO, Jakarta – President of the Honorary Council of the Indonesian Association of Pulmonary Physicians, Prof. Tjandra Yoga Aditama, referring to the research on the Air Quality Life Index (INTELLIGENT) in India in 2021, let’s say air pollution can have an impact on life expectation community there.

“This publication dated August 29, 2023 is an analysis based on data from 2021, where in that year the average annual level of PM2.5 in New Delhi was 126.5 g/m3, more than 25 times the recommended limit by WHO of 5 g/m3 Figures: “Particulate matter was also recorded at a high level in New Delhi in 2021,” Tjandra said as quoted by Antara on Thursday, August 31, 2023.

Tjandra said high levels of air pollution in 2021 had the impact of reducing the age of New Delhi’s population to 11.9 years younger, if using the safe limit according to the World Health Organization ( WHO).
“Another analysis, if we use data from India’s national pollution standards, New Delhi residents could lose 8.5 years of life expectancy,” he said.

The research also concludes that particulate matter pollution poses the single greatest health risk in India, even surpassing the impact of cardiovascular disease and maternal malnutrition in terms of shortening life expectancy.

On average, the Indian population loses 5.3 years of life expectancy due to particle pollution, while the loss of life expectancy due to cardiovascular disease is 4.5 years and that due to maternal and child malnutrition is 1.8 years.

The research findings also show that about 67.4 percent of India’s population lives in an environment with air pollution that exceeds local government-set air quality standards of 40 micrograms per cubic meter.

Not only in India, the same research report also shows that in the South Asian region, particulate pollution increased by 9.7% in the period 2013 to 2021. In India, the increase in levels of particulate matter (PM ) 2.5 was 9.5%, in Pakistan it was 9.5%. it was 8.8% and in Bangladesh it also increased by 12.4%.


Further analysis of the research shows that the average annual particle pollution in India increased by 67.7% from 1998 to 2021. This further exacerbates the decline in average life expectancy by 2.3 years.

Tjandra said that even today air pollution covers Jakarta and its surroundings and as a result there has been an increase in the incidence of acute respiratory infections (ARIs) in the community, as well as the impact of lung and other respiratory diseases .

As for the study in India, he believes it would be good if AQLI research could be conducted in Indonesia to see for sure whether air pollution affects life expectancy here.

“And if there is, how great is the loss of years of life. This research needs to be conducted and started now, so that over time, good and reliable scientific data will be obtained. It is hoped that interested parties will immediately take control of the steps right,” Tjandra said.

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