The collaborative study released Tuesday by the Health Effects Institute and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found that India’s worsening air pollution causes 1.1 million people to die prematurely each year.
From 1990 to 2015, India’s rate of air pollution-related deaths jumped 50 percent, up to 14.7 for every 100,000 people.
Combined with China, the two countries contributed 52 percent of the 4.2 million global deaths related to air pollution in 2015. While they tie for the number of such fatalities in 2015, China recorded only 5.9 air pollution-related deaths per 100,000 people that year, down from 13.2 in 1990.
The report cites India’s “increasing exposure and a growing and aging population” for the uptick.
The findings should be no surprise to those living in India’s dense, traffic-clogged cities like Delhi, where the streets resemble “a gas chamber,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in November, requiring people to wear face masks and schools to be shut down. The poor air quality is largely due to emissions from #coal-fired power plants and fires fueled by wood and dung, The Washington Post reports.