Clean Tech

Over half of India lives with hazardous levels of air pollution

| Updated on March 21, 2021

Double trouble: Some of air pollutants contribute to climate change too   -  REUTERS

Air pollution is caused by both human and natural contributors, including industries, vehicles, mining, agriculture, forest fires, cookstoves, volcanic eruptions, and wind erosion.

Air pollution is made up of chemicals, particulates, and biological materials. Common components include nitrogen, sulphur, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, dust, and ash. Some of these pollutants contribute to climate change. More than 92 per cent of the world’s population, and over half of India’s population — 660 million people — live in places where air pollution exceeds safe limits.

It is the deadliest form of pollution and the fourth largest threat to human health, behind high blood pressure, dietary risks and smoking. Pregnant women who live in high-traffic areas have a 22 per cent higher risk of having children with impaired lung function

. On an average, Indians living in polluted areas will lose 3.2 years of their lives due to air pollution.

Keeping global warming “well below” 2 degrees Celsius, as governments have pledged to do under the 2015 Paris Agreement, could save about a million lives a year by 2050 through reducing air pollution alone.

Published on March 21, 2021

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