Air pollution is killing around 80 people in Delhi every day, according to an international study released recently. Polluted air, particularly the respirable particulate matter is one of the several other factors that are responsible for morbidity and premature deaths, said Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
"An international study released recently has claimed that foul air is killing up to 80 people a day in Delhi. The numbers of premature deaths given in the study are based on the constructive estimates and extrapolations of data," said the Minister.
Two studies in Delhi, 'Epidemiological Study on Effects of Air Pollution on Human Health in Delhi' during 2002-2005 and 'Study on Ambient Air Quality, Respiratory Symptoms and Lung Function of Children in Delhi' which was carried out during 2003-2005 were sponsored by the government.
"The studies indicate that several pulmonary and systemic immunity and damage to chromosomes and DNA and other health impairments are associated with cumulative exposure to high level of particulate pollution that increases the risk of various diseases including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases," Javadekar said.
A global study on lethal health effects of pollution from particulate matter had similar findings. The study published in the journal 'Environmental Science & Technology'
, said that air pollution in Delhi kills between 10,000 to 30,000 people a year, which approximates to 80 deaths a day. These deaths are mainly because of PM2.5, particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers, which can pass into the lungs and from there to other organs of the body.
The study was authored by Joshua Apte from University of Texas, Julian Marshall from University of Minnesota, Michael Brauer from University of British Columbia and Dr Aaron Cohen from Health Effects Institute. It says that the number of deaths in Delhi every hour from air pollution has risen by 3 times in the last two decades. If no measures are taken to reduce pollution this might go up by a further 20-30%.