Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Levy Library Blog

Article in the Spotlight: June 2021

by Angelyn Thornton on 2021-06-30T08:00:00-04:00 | Comments


Each month Levy Library showcases the achievements of Mount Sinai faculty and researchers by highlighting an article and its altmetrics. Altmetrics are alternative measures of impact that capture non-traditional data like abstract views, article downloads, and social media activity. Our altmetrics data is provided by the PlumX platform

This month we highlight Health and economic impact of air pollution in the states of India: the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. This article was written in part by Philip J. Landrigan, MD.




The association of air pollution with multiple adverse health outcomes is becoming well established, but its negative economic impact is less well appreciated. It is important to elucidate this impact for the states of India.


We estimated exposure to ambient particulate matter pollution, household air pollution, and ambient ozone pollution, and their attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years in every state of India as part of the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2019. We estimated the economic impact of air pollution as the cost of lost output due to premature deaths and morbidity attributable to air pollution for every state of India, using the cost-of-illness method.


1·67 million (95% uncertainty interval 1·42–1·92) deaths were attributable to air pollution in India in 2019, accounting for 17·8% (15·8–19·5) of the total deaths in the country. The majority of these deaths were from ambient particulate matter pollution (0·98 million [0·77–1·19]) and household air pollution (0·61 million [0·39–0·86]). The death rate due to household air pollution decreased by 64·2% (52·2–74·2) from 1990 to 2019, while that due to ambient particulate matter pollution increased by 115·3% (28·3–344·4) and that due to ambient ozone pollution increased by 139·2% (96·5–195·8). Lost output from premature deaths and morbidity attributable to air pollution accounted for economic losses of US$28·8 billion (21·4–37·4) and $8·0 billion (5·9–10·3), respectively, in India in 2019. This total loss of $36·8 billion (27·4–47·7) was 1·36% of India's gross domestic product (GDP). The economic loss as a proportion of the state GDP varied 3·2 times between the states, ranging from 0·67% (0·47–0·91) to 2·15% (1·60–2·77), and was highest in the low per-capita GDP states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh. Delhi had the highest per-capita economic loss due to air pollution, followed by Haryana in 2019, with 5·4 times variation across all states.


The high burden of death and disease due to air pollution and its associated substantial adverse economic impact from loss of output could impede India's aspiration to be a $5 trillion economy by 2024. Successful reduction of air pollution in India through state-specific strategies would lead to substantial benefits for both the health of the population and the economy.


Figure 1. Exposure to air pollution and economic loss due to premature deaths and morbidity attributable to air pollution in the states of India, 2019
(A) Population-weighted mean ambient PM2·5 concentration. (B) Proportion of population using solid fuels. (C) Population-weighted ozone concentration in parts per billion. (D) Economic loss due to premature deaths and morbidity attributable to air pollution as a percentage of the state GDP. GDP=gross domestic product. PM2·5=fine particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 2·5 μm or less.


View the PlumX article profile

 Add a Comment



Enter your e-mail address to receive notifications of new posts by e-mail.


  Follow Us

  Return to Blog
This post is closed for further discussion.