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India tops World Health Organization's air pollution list

04 May, 2018, 10:06 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • India tops World Health Organization's air pollution list

India's capital, which once was the world's most polluted city, ranks sixth in the most recent list. As per the global air database released on Wednesday, Lucknow has been ranked seventh most polluted city in the world in terms of PM 2.5 concentration levels recorded in 2016.

To try and tackle the air pollution crisis that's now facing the capital, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has introduced a number of tough new measures including the T-charge which charges the most polluting types of vehicle that wish to drive through the city.

As an indicator of why this constitutes a major public health emergency, consider that WHO has further pointed to air pollution being a main cause of non-communicable diseases, causing around 24% of all adult deaths from heart disease, 25% from stroke, 43% from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 25% from lung cancer. The world's ten most polluted cities are Indian.

The PM2.5 includes pollutants like sulfate, nitrate and black carbon, which pose the greatest risk to human health.

Covering more than 4,300 cities in 108 countries, the data points to an estimated 4.2 million deaths each year caused by outdoor air pollution, with 3.8 million fatalities overall, owing to household pollutants, linked to cooking.




It said the World Health Organization recognises air pollution is a critical risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), causing an estimated 24 per cent of all adult deaths from heart disease, 25 per cent from stroke, 43 per cent from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 29 per cent from lung cancer.

"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".

"Air pollution does not recognise borders".

"Air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest and most marginalised people bear the brunt of the burden". In some regions, sand and desert dust, waste burning and deforestation are additional sources of air pollution.

The publication of WHO's findings comes ahead of the first Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, which is due to run from 30 October to 1 November in Geneva, where the United Nations agency aims to push for improved air quality and combat the harmful effects of climate change.

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