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93% of Indian lives in high air pollution areas

Tags: Science and Technology

The United States based Health Effect Institute (HEI) in its Annual report “State of Global Air analysis for the year 2020” has found that around 93% of the Indian population lives in areas where the air pollution is seven times the World Health organisation (WHO) standards. 

Major highlights of the report 

  • 93% of the Indian population is exposed to air containing at least 35µg/m3 concentration of PM2.5 (particulate matter of the size of 2.5 microns). According to the WHO standards, the upper annual limit for PM2.5 is 5µg/m3. 

  • Due to high exposure to air pollution,Indians have  on an  average loose  1.51 years of their life. 

  • The large exposure to PM2.5 has also reduced life expectancy for countries and regions—Egypt (2.11 years), Saudi Arabia (1.91 years), India (1.51 years) China (1.32 years) and Pakistan (1.31 years).

  • Almost 100% of the world population lives in areas where the PM2.5 levels exceeded WHO recommendations.

  • India was ranked as the ninth most  exposed country to Ozone after Congo, Ethiopia, Germany, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.

  • The lowest impacts of pollution on longevity is in Norway, Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand.

Concept Clearing 

PM or Particulate Matter 2.5 and PM 10

  • Particulate matter is composed of a mixture of solids and liquids found in the air. It comprises dust, dirt, soot, etc.
  • PM or particulate matter, in simple words, refers to small particles of dust
  • Dust particles are graded by measuring their diameter in microns. The most important types of particulate matter are PM2.5 and PM 10 from a public health perspective. 
  • PM 2.5  has a diameter of 2.5 microns  and PM 10 has a diameter 10 microns.
  • It enters into lungs and causes respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis etc.

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