SHANGHAI, 9 jul (Reuters) – it Is estimated that air pollution has caused 49.000 deaths and 23,000 millions of dollars in economic losses only in the cities of Beijing and Shanghai from 1 January 2020, according to a counter “clean air” filed by environmental groups Thursday.
The digital tool launched by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREATES, for its acronym in English), with headquarters in Helsinki, Greenpeace Southeast Asia and IQAir Air Visual, measures the air pollution in 28 major cities in the world and uses models designed by the research programme of the Global Burden of Disease to estimate the impact on health.
The highest levels of pollution are associated with a wide range of ailments, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, stroke and lung cancer.
The economic impact was calculated by estimating factors such as absenteeism and lost years due to illness. If you compare it with the number of inhabitants, New Delhi, India, is the city most affected by the contamination, since it is estimated that it has lost 25,000 lives and 5.8% of its total GDP from the beginning of the year.
According to this indicator, it is estimated that Shanghai recorded the 27,000 deaths since January 1, more than the 22,000 of Beijing, which reflected in part the increase of the population of the city.
“This also underscores the fact that the pollution in Shanghai is now almost as bad as Beijing, because Beijing has improved a lot faster,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, principal analyst CREATES.
According to official data chinese, and the concentration of small dangerous particles in the air, known as PM2.5, was higher in Beijing in the first half of the year in Shanghai.
However, Shanghai recorded the highest rates of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, two other important components of photochemical smog.
In general, air pollution in China in 2020 has declined in comparison with the last year, since the confinement by the epidemic of COVID-19 have reduced the traffic and the industrial activity, but experts warn that efforts to revive the economy could cause a rebound in the second half of the year.
(Information Stanway; edited by Michael Perry; translated by Tomás Cobos)