Thursday, 15 November, 2018


EU Air Quality Slowly Improving but still Deadly

Report: Over 27,000 premature deaths linked to air pollution in Romania Thick haze engulfs Delhi as air pollution worsens
Patty Aguilar | 30 October, 2018, 04:30

This report comes ahead of the WHO's First Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health in Geneva on October 30, which will allow multiple stakeholders, including government officials and scientists, to outline actions to decrease the effects of air pollution on people's health.

The report on released on Monday said about 98 per cent of children under the age of five in low- and middle-income countries were exposed to air pollution. Now it must do the same for the "new tobacco" - the toxic air that billions breathe every day.

The WHO study also elaborates various causes of air pollution.

On the other hand, 10 cities of the state figured in "very poor" air quality category which means prolonged exposure to such air can lead to respiratory illness.

In the report, titled "Air Pollution and Child Health: Prescribing Clean Air", deaths of about 600,000 children under 15 years of age in 2016 were attributed to the joint effects of ambient and household air pollution.

The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of the national Capital was recorded at 367 which falls in the very poor category, the highest of this season and just a few points below severe pollution level, according to data by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

According to World Health Organization, children are more susceptible to pollution because they breathe more often, taking in more pollutants, and are closer to the ground - which is where some pollutants have higher concentrations.

"Air Pollution is stunting our children's brains, affecting their health in more ways than we suspected".

The study found that New Delhi's average air pollution level (PM2.5 score) was a staggering 187, which is far from London's rush hour measure of 27, and Birmingham's rush-hour measure of just 15.

More than 40 per cent of the world's entire population is exposed to harmful levels of air pollution.

Last year, the Indian Medical Association declared a public health emergency because of alarming pollution levels and hospitals were clogged with wheezing men, women and children.

They found that a 10 μg/m3 increase in exposure to PM2.5 during pregnancy was associated with a decrease in birth weight of 4 g and a 2 per cent increase in the prevalence of low birth weight.

UKHACC says that air pollution causes about 40,000 deaths in the United Kingdom every year and costs about £22bn to the economy annually.

"Air pollution is an invisible killer and we have to intensify efforts to address its causes", said Hans Bruyninckx, the agency's executive director.

While some of the cities like Patna and Varanasi have recently formulated action plans, there are none in place to issue advisories or mitigate the pollution at the source level instantly as in the case of the Graded Response Action Plan to combat air pollution. Children around the world aren't just exposed to dirty air outside, but inside their own homes, where families burn wood and kerosene for cooking, heating, and lighting.

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