A thick smog resolved over New Delhi as winter began in India last year, forcing medical professionals to declare a public health emergency. Residents swarmed local hospitals complaining of respiratory problems. Cricket players were forced to put on anti-pollution masks during a national match between India and Sri Lanka. And United Airlines canceled flights into the city, citing the air-quality concerns.
Air pollution isn’t among the causes of death that medical examiners listing on death credentials, but the health conditions linked to air pollution exposure, such as lung cancer and emphysema, are often fatal. Air pollution was responsible for 6. 1 million demises and accounted for virtually 12 percentage of the global death toll in 2016, the past year for which data was available, according the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.