Air Pollution Could Have Killed 6 Lakh Indians:
In a study conducted by the World Health Organization, it reported that it could have been air pollution that killed six lakh Indians in 2012, which is about a fifth of the 3 million who died worldwide. It is because they were exposed to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) that may have intensified or been directly responsible for cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer.
China witnessed an estimated 8,00,000 deaths. India came just behind China with at least 6,00,000 deaths. The figures are based on mathematical modelling. It is the second among all countries in the absolute number of deaths due to air pollution.
In a study relied on the publicly available notional date, it was found that about 2,49,388 Indians died of Ischemic heart disease, 1,95,001 of stroke, 1,10,500 of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and 26,334 of lung cancer. The report does not include the separate impacts on health from other pollutants such as Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) or ozone (O3) and also excludes health impacts where evidence were limited.
The air pollutants including invisible PM2.5 are emitted by Industries, households, cars and trucks.
IMPACTS OF PM2.5:
The impacts as highlighted by World Health Organization study includes lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD) and cardiovascular disease. Particulate matter pollution is an environmental health problem.that affects people worldwide.
“Air pollution is the biggest environmental risk to health and it should be addressed on priority as it is causing long lasting diseases and continues to rise,” as written in a statement of WHO South-East Asia Region, reported by The Hindu.
WHO in collaboration with the University of Bath in the UK, developed the studies based on data derived from satellite measurements, air transport models, and ground station monitors in more than 3000 locations, both rural and urban.
The researchers derived their average based on PM10 in areas where accurate PM2.5 measurements were unavailable. 80% of people living in urban areas are exposed to air quality levels that the WHO limits. Populations in low-income cities are the most affected. Overall 98 percent of cities in low and middle-income countries with more than 100,000 inhabitants do not meet WHO air quality guidelines.
WHO had already warned that nearly 1.4 million Indians may have succumbed to disease caused by air pollution. A lot of fine particulate matter comes from fuel combustion such as vehicles, and from stationary sources such as power plants, industry, households or biomass burning.