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Most hike in PM2.5 pollution: 18 from 20 cities are in India

Most hike in PM2.5 pollution: 18 from 20 cities are in India

New Delhi: Out of the 20 cities where the most severe increase in fine particle pollutants (PM2.5) from 2010 to 2019, 18 are in India, an analysis inferred. The analysis report, published by the US-based research organisation Health Effects Institute (HEI), states that Delhi has the highest average level of fine PM 2.5 among the world's most populated cities, PTI reported.

Further, "Of the 50 cities with the most severe increase in PM2.5, 41 are in India, and 9 are in Indonesia. On the other hand, of the 20 cities with the greatest decrease in PM2.5 pollution from 2010 to 2019, all are located in China," the report said.

The report, titled ''Air Quality and Health Cities' made a comprehensive and detailed study of air pollution and global health effects for more than 7,000 cities worldwide and got published on Wednesday. It focussed on fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), the two most harmful air pollutants.

According to the report, 1.7 million deaths happened because of PM2.5 exposure in 7,239 cities in 2019. The greatest health impacts were on Asia, Africa, and Eastern and Central Europe

Among the most populated cities in the region, Delhi and Kolkata grabbed places in the top 10, with the highest PM2.5-related disease burden in 2019. The report stated that In the 20 cities with the highest PM2.5 exposures, residents in cities from India, Nigeria, Peru, and Bangladesh are exposed to PM2.5 levels that are several-fold higher than the global averages. None from India have met the WHO annual PM2.5 Air Quality Guideline of 5 microgrammes per cubic metre in 2019.

When India and Indonesia witnessed the worst increase in PM2.5 pollution, China saw excellent improvement.

Later, the report said that when the PM2.5 pollution is higher in low- and middle-income countries, NO2 is high in high, medium or low-income countries alike.

One of the project collaborators, Susan Anenberg of George Washington University, said, "Since most cities around the world have no ground-based air quality monitoring in place, estimates of particulate and gas pollution levels can be used to plan air quality management approaches that ensure the air is clean and safe to breathe."

WHO'sWHO's Air Quality Database suggests that only 117 global nations have ground-level monitoring systems to track PM2.5 while 74 in NO2 levels.

The report opined that even breathing low pollution over time will cause many health issues such as reduced life expectancy, missed school and work, chronic illnesses, and even death.

Worldwide, air pollution is responsible for one in nine deaths, accounting for 6.7 million deaths in 2019, with particularly strong impacts on the young, the elderly, and those with chronic respiratory and heart diseases, it added.

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TAGS:India air pollution Delhi Kolkata cities PM 2.5 Nitrogen Oxide 
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