A new study published by Lancet has found that among south Indian states, Karnataka has the worst air quality that kills 95 people out of every 100,000 population. The figures for Karnataka means that it is the only state from the southern part of the country worse than the national average of 90 deaths per 100,000 population.
According to Lancet, the air quality was found to be least harmful in Telangana followed by Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. The state-wise study titled 'Impact of air pollution on deaths, disease burden, and life expectancy across the states of India' estimates death, disease burden and life expectancy reduction linked to air pollution.
The study further examined how people were exposed to both indoor and outdoor pollution including exposure to dust, vehicular pollution and household pollution.
The study was focused on the alarming levels of air quality in northern India. In 2017, no state in the country was found to have PM 2.5 levels less than the WHO recommended level. The highest PM 2.5 exposure level was in Delhi, followed by Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana. Rajasthan, meanwhile, was found to be the state with the highest number of deaths attributable to air pollution (112.5).
Even though worse quality of air was observed in northern parts of the country, air pollution levels in the southern part of the country were also well over permissible limits.
The study highlighted a substantial use of solid fuels in Kerala and Karnataka, states with a high number of economically well-off and literate persons. While 42.8% of people used solid fuels in Karnataka, 35.5% people use in Kerala.
Moreover, the study noted that the life expectancy of people living in Karnataka would increase by 1.4 years if the air pollution reduces.