2 Indians die every minute due to air pollution

The air Indians breathe is turning more toxic by the day and an average of two deaths take place daily due to air pollution, says a new study. According to medical journal The Lancet, over a million Indians die every year due to air pollution and some of the worst polluted cities of the world. In India globally 2.7-3.4 million pre-term births may be associated with PM 2.5 exposure and South Asia is the worst hit accounting for 1.6 million pre-term births.

The Lancet concludes that climate change posed both a "potentially catastrophic risk to human health", while conversely being "the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century" if the right steps are taken .The smog over northern India is extracting a heavy toll, every minute two lives are lost in India due to ambient air pollution, the study published in The Lancet says.

Further, according an estimate by the World Bank, this would amount to a whopping $38 billion loss in income towards labour in India. Air pollution has also emerged as the deadliest form of pollution and the fourth leading risk factor for premature deaths worldwide, it says. Recently, 48 leading scientists released the study and they find that Patna and New Delhi the worst polluted cities of the world for PM 2.5 levels or the fine particulate matter that hurts the heart most.

An estimated 18,000 people die every day due to air pollution exposure, making it the world's largest single environmental health risk .The World Bank in turn estimates it costs the global economy $225 billion a year in related lost labour income. As per the reports coal fired power plants contribute to 50 per cent of the ambient air pollution.

Know more:

Air pollution is a mixture of natural and man-made substances in the air we breathe. It is typically separated into two categories: outdoor air pollution and indoor air pollution.

Outdoor air pollution involves exposures that take place outside of the built environment. Examples include:

  • Fine particles produced by the burning of fossil fuels (i.e. the coal and petroleum used in traffic and energy production)

  • Noxious gases (sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, chemical vapors, etc.)

  • Ground-level ozone (a reactive form of oxygen and a primary component of urban smog)

  • Tobacco smoke

Indoor air pollution involves exposures to particulates, carbon oxides, and other pollutants carried by indoor air or dust. Examples include:

  • Gases (carbon monoxide, radon, etc.)

  • Household products and chemicals

  • Building materials (asbestos, formaldehyde, lead, etc.)

  • Outdoor indoor allergens (cockroach and mouse dropping, etc.)

  • Tobacco smoke

  • Mold and pollen

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