The latest Indian study contradicts environment minister Prakash Javadekar’s statement. His statement quoted no relation between air pollution and premature deaths, where studies suggest a close correlation.
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According to the latest Indian study published in an international journal, over 1 lakh deaths in 29 Indian cities may be attributed to the rising PM 2.5 levels.
The study by 2 IIT Kanpur experts published in Science of the Total Environment, the national capital is ahead of the pack. States like Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, and Ahmedabad aren’t really far behind. Among the 29 cities with a million-plus population, Delhi bears the weight of the crown.
The study claims, Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD is the leading cause of death accounting for 58% of the PM 2.5 related premature deaths. Children under 5years are most affected and the ‘productive age group’ of 25-50 years states the study.
The study titled Cause and Age, Specific Premature Mortality Attributable to PM 2.5 Exposure: An Analysis for Million Plus Cities. This paper has used the 2016 data for the 29 cities as it is the latest year for which the registered all-cause death data is available from the Civil Registration System. The paper is modeled on the 2015 Global Burden of Disease report.
The air pollution expert Mukesh Kumar of IIT Kanpur along with Prateik Saini authored the study. The 2015 report on sources of air pollution in Delhi was also authored by Kumar. “While studies have also been done earlier, this one has based on ischemic Heart Disease n actual measured data on PM 2.5-related mortality. The data is age-specific and cause-specific and therefore helps us interpret and show the clear correlation between pollution levels and death rate,” Kumar told ET.
The Indo-Gangetic plain where PM 2.5 levels are very high, premature mortality rates due to Lower Respiratory Infection (LRI) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in children and adults are higher respectively.
There could be an 18% reduction in premature mortality if cities were to attain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), according to study, if adhered to WHO standards of PM 2.5 there would be a 70% reduction.
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