Air pollution killed 54,000 people in New Delhi, India’s national capital, last year, Greenpeace Southeast Asia revealed in a study published Thursday.
“Delhi sustained an estimated 54,000 avoidable deaths due to PM2.5 [fine particulate matter] air pollution in 2020, or one death per 500 people,” the report stated.
Exposure to PM2.5 – fine particulate matter measuring smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter – can cause cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and cancers. New Delhi’s air pollution deaths cost the city’s economy an estimated $8.1 billion last year, which amounts to roughly 13 percent of the city’s annual GDP.
New Delhi is home to over 30 million people. It ranks as India’s most populous city and the second-most populated city globally after Tokyo, Japan, and has long been considered one of the world’s most polluted cities. The Indian capital’s air pollutant levels remain nearly six times higher than the prescribed World Health Organization limits of 10 g/m3 annual mean, according