India is struggling to deal with rising air pollution with a new report revealing that it is the fifth biggest cause of deaths in the country.
The Global Burden of Diseases report released by Washington based Health Effects Institute reveals that air pollution has increased six times over the last decade, claiming more than one million lives were lost each for indoor air pollution and direct and indirect tobacco smoking in 2010.
Another 620,000 people died due to outdoor air pollution, which is a six fold increase since 2000. The report added that air pollution accounted for 20 percent of deaths due to lung cancer and six percent of deaths due to high blood pressure.
The Center for Science and Environment (CSE) said that the situation is only going to get worse in the country. "The PM10 monitoring network has doubled between 2005 and 2010 - it has increased from 96 to 180 cities. During this period the cities with low level of pollution has fallen from 10 to 2 and the number of critically polluted cities have increased from 49 to 89 cities. In 2005 about 75 percent of cities exceeded the standard. In 2010, a total of 78 percent of cities are exceeding the standard", CSE said.