Air pollution 5th largest killer in India: US study


air-pollutionweb jpgNEW DELHI: Air pollution is the fifth largest killer in India taking 6.2 lakh lives per year and Delhi is among one of the five most critically polluted regions in the country, a study by a US-based health institute has claimed.

The other four most critically polluted regions in the country are Ghaziabad, Gwalior, West Singbhum district in Jharkhand and Raipur, according to the study.
The study has claimed that 6.2 lakh premature deaths in India occur due to air pollution-related diseases, a six-fold increase as compared to that in the year 2000.

It said air pollution had also turned out the fifth leading cause of death in the country, after high blood pressure, indoor air pollution, tobacco smoking and poor nutrition.

Global Burden of Disease (GDB) report by US-based Health Effect Institute has ranked air pollution as one of the top ten killers in the world, and sixth most dangerous killer in South Asia.

“6.20 lakh premature deaths occur in India from air pollution-related diseases. This is a shocking and deeply disturbing news. This calls for urgent and aggressive action to protect public health,” Sunita Narain, Director General CSE, said here.

The report said that Delhi is among the troubled cities suffering from multi-pollutant crisis.

“Delhi is definitely there, Kolkata is there and there are small towns where we are seeing what we call multi-pollutant crisis,” it said.

“About seventy eight per cent of the cities (141 cities) exceed the PM10 standard. Of this ninety cities have critical levels of PM10, twenty six cities have most critical level of PM10 exceeding the standard by more than three times,” the report said.

Atmospheric particulate matter – also known as particulates or particulate matter (PM) – are tiny pieces of solid or liquid matter associated with the Earth’s atmosphere.

“Multi-pollutant crisis means there is not just one pollutant, but there are many pollutants that are going together into the atmosphere and it is having a very bad effect on health. We need to strengthen our action plan.”

“Zero ignition vehicles need to be encouraged and the growing dependency on private cars need to be curtailed,” Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director, CSE, told reporters here.

CSE through its report has demanded timely introduction of ‘Euro Five’ and ‘Euro Six’ standards for emission as one of the ways forward to control air pollution.