As per United Nations report, the rising level of air borne pollution in Asia is extracting greater social and economic costs leading to millions of people dying prematurely each year.
- Globally some 7 million people a year die prematurely due to indoor and outdoor pollution with about 70% of those deaths in the Asia Pacific.
Highlights of Report
Exceeding air pollution level – The costs from air pollution are rising for millions across the region, with hundreds of cities facing pollution levels exceeding World Health Organization (WHO) safety standards guidelines on PM 2.5 emissions.
- Millions of people living in them are directly linked with chronic health problems.
Premature deaths – Scientists warn that without significant steps the number of premature deaths from air borne pollution will double by 2050.
Indoor pollution– In South Asia, from Bangladesh to India and Pakistan the toll to human life has been directly linked to people using stoves that burn solid cooking fuels like wood or dung.
- Indoor pollution is a major contributor to health problems that compares to the pollution faced by urban communities with traffic borne smog.
Atmospheric brown clouds (ABCs) – They are over mega cities from Bangkok, Japan, China and throughout India also extract serious costs to communities.
Air pollution in India
- In autumn and winter month’s large scale crop residue burning in agriculture fields is a major source of smoke, smog and particulate pollution.
- The National Green Tribunal directed Delhi and its neighbouring States Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to stop the age-old practice of straw burning.
- India has low per capita emissions of greenhouse gases but the country as a whole is the third largest after China and the United States.
- A 2013 study on non-smokers has found that Indians have 30% lower lung function compared to Europeans.
- The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act was passed in 1981 to regulate air pollution and there have been some measurable improvements.
In 2014 Environmental Performance Index ranked India 155 out of 178 countries.
In Air quality India was ranked 174 out of 178 countries.