7 million people a year die from air pollution

04 May, 2018, 13:55 | Author: Nina Hammond
  • A toxic haze engulfed Delhi for more than a week in November 2017

Ten Indian cities lead the list of the 20-most polluted cities in the world. But experts say the data does not show improvements in New Delhi's air quality, but rather that more Indian cities have toxic air.

The worldwide standards of air pollution says that index value of 0-50 (micrograms per cubic metre air) is excellent, 51-100 is good, 101-150 is lightly polluted.

Rural air pollution is carried from the big cities by wind, with lorries and other long-distance traffic also now thought to play a larger role than expected. In 2016 a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) had stated that Delhi was the most polluted megacity in the world, followed by Cairo and Dhaka, as far as PM10 pollution was considered.

In alarming news, the WHO global air pollution database has revealed that India has 14 out of the 15 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM 2.5 concentrations. During these months, in addition to local emissions, there was a substantial contribution from regional sources, including smoke due to stubble burning in neighbouring states and dust from Gulf countries. "The government has also taken several bold initiatives, including leap-frogging from BS-IV to BS-VI", it said.

Hold on! This is not it, you will get shocked to know that the next 13 cities in the list were also all from here, namely: Faridabad, Varanasi, Gaya, Patna, Delhi, Lucknow, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur.

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Similarly for PM10, the figures were 289 micrograms per cubic metre in 2016 and 268 micrograms per cubic metre in 2017. Therefore, even PM 10 levels have come down in the year 2017 against 2016.

Although there are major gaps on air pollution data from regions including the Western Pacific and Africa - where information was available in only eight out of 47 countries on the continent - the World Health Organization chief noted that the global community was "starting to pay attention and take action" on air pollution, recognizing it as a threat to sustainable development.

The WHO report does not have the air quality report of 2017.

"To ensure clean air for all and save lives, governments need to urgently set strong deadlines and action plans for meeting air quality targets, and that includes quickly shifting to clean energy and clean transport". A non-attainment area is an area considered to have air quality worse than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The report includes five cities from the state.

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