Two Indians are killed every minute on average by air pollution, which causes more than a million deaths annually in this South Asian country, warns a new research.
Some of the world's worst affected cities due to air pollution are in India. The study, based on 2010 data, released earlier this week, has revealed that globally, an estimated 2.7-3.4 million preterm births can be associated with exposure to PM 2.5, a fine particulate that affects the human body. With 1.6 million Preterm births, South Asia is the worst hit, says the study.
‘Air pollution has been a universal issue for quite some time and India seems to be one of the worst nations affected by it.’
The study was published in a journal named "The Lancet". 48 scientists and experts from 16 international institutions took part in the review, which warns that even when the concentration of air pollutants meets WHO standards, there is a high risk of health hazards from air pollution.
The study called "The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change" refers to the recent data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) comprising of PM 2.5 exposure in lower, middle and upper-income countries.
The study considers that the causes of air pollution and climate change are closely linked and therefore calls for addressing both issues together.
The research refutes several reports from New Delhi by stating that coal-fired power stations contribute to 50 percent of harmful gas emissions.
According to a recent study of 48 scientists, Patna and New Delhi are the cities most affected by this scourge in the world.
Another research by Greenpeace revealed weeks ago that this scourge causes 1,2 million deaths each year in India and the loss of three percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In the report, Patna and Delhi figure among the most polluted cities, both having an annual PM 2.5 concentration of more than 120 micrograms per cubic metres - about 12 times the WHO guideline. The WHO annual PM 2.5 guideline is 10 micrograms per cubic metres.
This IEA report had sourced data from the World Health Organisation (WHO's) urban air quality database of 2016. "An estimated 18,000 people die every day because of exposure to ambient and household air pollution, making it the world's largest single environmental health risk. Ambient air pollution is particularly pertinent in urban areas, but it also affects non-urban populations.