US-based research organization Health Effects Institute (HEI) recently published the 5th edition of the State of Global Air Report.

About the report

  • The State of Global Air is a research and outreach initiative to provide accurate, meaningful, and the latest information about air quality and its health impacts around the world.
  • This report is a joint effort by the Health Effects Institute (HEI) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s (IHME) Global Burden of Disease project.
  • This report presents information on exposures to and health impacts of exposure to common air pollutants including fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), ozone, and for the first time, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), from 1990–2021.

Health Effects Institute (HEI) 

  • It is a nonprofit corporation chartered in 1980 as an independent research organization to provide high-quality, impartial, and relevant science on the health effects of air pollution. 
  • HEI typically receives balanced funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the worldwide motor vehicle industry.
  • It is an independent air quality and health research institute. 

Institute of Health metrics and evaluation (IHME)

  • The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent population health research organization founded in 2007 based at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
  • Its goal is to provide an impartial, evidence-based picture of global health trends to inform the work of policymakers, researchers, and funders.

Key Findings of the report:

  • The report is also the first report since the COVID-19 pandemic and provides disease burden estimates through 2021.
  • Air pollution accounted for 8.1 million deaths globally in 2021, becoming the second leading risk factor for death, including for children under five years.
  • China (2.3 million deaths) and India (2.1 million deaths) shared 55% of the world’s fatalities from air pollution in 2021. 
  • As per the report 464 children under 5 die daily in India due to air pollution, surpassing tobacco, and diabetes as the leading cause of death.
  • Of the total deaths, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) account for nearly 90% of the disease burden from air pollution. 
  • 99% of the world’s population lives in places with unhealthy levels of PM2.5 pollution. 
  • 34% live in areas that exceed even the least stringent WHO interim air quality targets.
  • Air pollution was the second leading risk factor for early death worldwide in 2021, surpassed only by high blood pressure.
  • It is developed as part of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s (IHME) annual Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study.

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