New Delhi: Air Pollution has become one of the major issue raising concerns among researchers and environmentalists worldwide. Approximately 7 million people around the world die prematurely each year from air pollution, with about 4 million of these deaths occurring in Asia-Pacific, states a United Nations study. Considering the alarming impact of air pollution, the theme for this year’s World Environment Day on June 5 is #BeatAirPollution. In keeping With the theme, the UN has urged governments, industry, communities, and individuals to come together to combat the crisis by exploring renewable energy and green technologies.
There are multiple reasons for air pollution like the presence of harmful gases, dust, smoke, chemicals, and other microscopic particles in the atmosphere. Among various factors contributing to air pollution are carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and nitrogen oxide, emitted from industries and automobiles, these pollutants are a major health hazard.
Here’s How Grave, The Air Pollution Crisis Has Become
- According to the United Nations’ (UN) World Health Organisation (WHO) air quality model, 92 per cent of the world’s population do no breathe clean air.
- A UN study confirms that air pollution costs the global economy 5 trillion dollars every year in welfare costs.
- Indoor air pollution, caused by gas stoves or incense sticks among others sources, kills 43 lakh people every year, worldwide, states a United Nations Environment Programme report.
- According to WHO, the most polluted country in the world is China with India being a close second.
- According to a recent study by Greenpeace, a non-governmental environmental organization, India is home to 15 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world. Also, seven of the top ten cities in the same list are also in India.
- Greenpeace India, in a study, also revealed that air pollution in Delhi and other parts of Northern India, is mainly caused due to industrial waste, vehicles emissions and seasonal agricultural waste burning.
- Almost 44 per cent of the total schoolchildren in Delhi have reduced lung function as compared to the 25.7 in the other cities studied, a Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) study revealed, proving that children suffer the most in this crisis.
- Air Pollution is responsible for 25 per cent deaths in India. A WHO study has asserted that the most ignored issue of air pollution in India is the indoor air pollution, causing about a million deaths per year, which can only be mitigated depending on the economic background of the citizens.
- People belonging to lower income groups do not have the means to help improve the air quality inside their houses. A combined study by Indian Institute of Technology and US-based Duke University has revealed that due to the extreme levels of air pollution and various harmful pollutants like particulate matter in North India, Agra’s iconic seventh wonder of the world, Taj Mahal’s white marbles are turning green.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.