Published: Fri, May 04, 2018
Medical | By Jackie Banks

Indian Officials Upset By Lack Of Progress In Fighting Air Pollution

Indian Officials Upset By Lack Of Progress In Fighting Air Pollution

The World Health Organization report states that the Uttar Pradesh city is the most polluted in the world with an annual PM2.5 average of 173 micrograms per cubic metre (g/m3) and an annual PM10 (particulate matter of 10 micrometres or less in diametre) average of 319 (g/m3).

The new figures were released by the WHO along with the revelation that a staggering 9 out of 10 people around the world are still breathing polluted air, causing around 7 million deaths around the globe every year.

Lucknow is just five units behind Delhi, which has been ranked sixth, with the pollution levels of 138 micrograms per cubic metre of air. Ten Indian cities lead the list of the 20-most polluted cities in the world.

The WHO report said the other Indian cities that registered very high PM2.5 levels and constituted the top 14 were Kanpur, Faridabad, Gaya, Patna, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur.

The Centre has made "serious" efforts to fight air pollution and the 2017 air quality data for fine particulate matter PM2.5 has shown improvement over the previous year, the Environment Ministry said today, after a WHO report listed 14 Indian cities among the world's 20 most polluted.

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Of the 3.8 million deaths caused by household air pollution globally, the region accounts for 1.5 million or 40 per cent deaths, and of the 4.2 million global deaths due to ambient air pollution, 1.3 million or 30 per cent are reported from the region, it said.

According to other studies, the pollution levels further deteriorated in the city in 2017.

PM2.5 are tiny but deadly air particles, which can increase the likelihood of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Southeast Asia and the eastern Mediterranean saw the highest levels of air pollution, according to the study. If steps are not taken to control pollution levels in these cities it would create a Delhi-like situation.

"Air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest and most marginalised people bear the brunt of the burden". "It is unacceptable that over 3 billion people - a lot of them women and children - are still breathing deadly smoke every day from using polluting stoves and fuels in their homes", said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO. But other pollution sources, including construction dust and the burning of crop stubble in the winter, continue unchecked. As a follow-up, 94 non-attainment cities were also asked to prepare detailed action plans for improving upon air quality depending on their local conditions.

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