Chennai’s polluted air killed 11,000 people last year: Study

The cost estimator estimated air pollution-related economic losses of `10,910 crore in Chennai. The damage is equally worrying in other Indian cities.

Published: 21st February 2021 06:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st February 2021 06:31 AM   |  A+A-

Air Pollution

For representational purposes

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The polluted air in Chennai resulted in 11,000 deaths last year, according to a Greenpeace Southeast Asia analysis of IQAir data released on Friday. Despite a temporary reprieve in air quality owing to the lockdown, the latest figures from the report underscored the need to act immediately. The need of the hour is to rapidly scale up renewable energy, end fossil fuel emissions, and boost sustainable and accessible transport systems, it said.

According to the report, the ‘cost estimator’ an online tool that estimates the real-time health impact and economic cost from fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) air pollution in major world cities was deployed in collaboration between Greenpeace Southeast Asia, IQAir and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA). Using real-time ground-level PM 2.5 measurements collated in IQAir’s database, the algorithm applies scientific risk models in combination with population and public health data to estimate the health and economic costs of exposure to air pollution.

The cost estimator estimated air pollution-related economic losses of `10,910 crore in Chennai. The damage is equally worrying in other Indian cities. An estimated 54,000 and 25,000 avoidable deaths in Delhi and Mumbai respectively in 2020 have been attributed to air pollution. Bengaluru and Hyderabad had an estimated 12,000 and 11,000 avoidable deaths respectively due to polluted air,” claims the report.

“Despite recording relatively better air quality this year due to the lockdown, air pollution remains a serious public health issue which also drastically impacts our economy. For the governments of the day, it is crucial that investments are made towards green and sustainable solutions. When we choose fossil fuel over clean energy, our health is put at stake. Polluted air increases the likelihood of deaths due to cancer and stroke, spike in asthma attacks and worsens the severity of Covid-19 symptoms,” Avinash Chanchal, climate campaigner, Greenpeace India, said.

Follow The New Indian Express channel on WhatsApp


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp