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Indian Officials Upset By Lack Of Progress In Fighting Air Pollution

04 May 2018

As shocking as it might seem, the fact that Lucknow has been ranked among the top 10 most polluted city in the world, is now a reality.

Data from 2012 shows the United Kingdom death rate for air pollution was well below the European average, and only a fifth of that seen in India and a sixth of that in China.

The PM2.5 includes pollutants like sulfate, nitrate and black carbon, which pose the greatest risk to human health. The average PM 2.5 levels were, however, recorded at 143 micrograms per cubic metre - the worst since 2010, when Delhi was ranked as the most polluted city in the world with an average concentration of 141 micrograms per cubic metre.

Around 3.8 million people died in 2016 due to pollution
Around 3.8 million people died in 2016 due to pollution"from cooking with polluting fuels and technologies, it said

A section of the media has carried reports today, quoting a World Health Organisation study that has highlighted the problem of air pollution till 2016 and has inferred that 14 most polluted cities in the world are located in India.

He said various states have filed action plan to combat worsening air quality and claimed that everything was under control, but 14 cities still figured in the list of 20 most polluted.

Faridabad and Varanasi are not far behind in WHO's recent database containing a list of pollution levels in over 1,000 cities worldwide.

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Countries that are taking measures to reduce air pollution include India, WHO says, where one new scheme has provided free gas connections for more than 37 million women, to help them make the switch to clean energy use in the home.

India targets to reach 80 million households by 2020. Non-communicable diseases are the leading cause of deaths globally and in the region, and air pollution contributes significantly to NCDs such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and lung cancer. We are all breathing in highly polluted air, which needs to be checked right away.

"We know there is a strong link between poor air quality and heart health with nearly six in ten global deaths (58%) related to outdoor air pollution caused by a heart attack or stroke".

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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 the Gulf countries, it said.

Inside people's houses, the main source of air pollution stems from lack of access to clean cooking fuels. "If we don't take urgent action on air pollution, we will never come close to achieving sustainable development", said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO.

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Indian Officials Upset By Lack Of Progress In Fighting Air Pollution