14 of world's 20 most polluted cities in India

WHO Explains How Air Pollution Kills 7m People Yearly

14 of world's 20 most polluted cities in India

The global standards of air pollution says that index value of 0-50 (micrograms per cubic metre air) is excellent, 51-100 is good, 101-150 is lightly polluted. "Data for the year 2017 for PM 2.5 shows an improvement over 2016 and so far in 2018, it shows a further improvement, as compared to 2017", said a statement from the Union environment ministry. The Government has also taken several bold initiatives, including leap-frogging from BS-IV to BS-VI.

"WHO estimates that around 7 million people die every year from exposure to fine particles in polluted air that penetrate deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system, causing diseases including stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections, including pneumonia", the report said. Lucknow is one city that is constantly being appreciated for something or the other.

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.

India should follow China's example and clean up the air in its cities, which are among the world's worst for outdoor pollution, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

The CPCB data based on Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) also noted that PM (10) figures were 289 microgrammes per cubic metre in the year 2016 and 268 microgrammes per cubic metre in the year 2017. The WHO also said that the countries are also taking the required measures to curb the negative effects.

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In July 2016, all non-attainment cities were given a set of 42 action points to improve air quality and as a follow-up, 94 cities were asked to prepare detailed action plans, it said. The report includes five cities from the state.

Women and young children are among the most vulnerable, particularly household air pollution from the use of wood, animal dung and crop waste as cooking fuels.

This year Delhi - that has come under serious flak for its extremely-polluted winters - launched a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) by CPCB along with a ban on petcoke in Delhi and NCR; surveillance over coal-fired plants; action against construction activities and, regular field surveillance by CPCB teams beginning September.

In WHO South-East Asia Region an average of 63 per cent of all households are exposed to unacceptable levels of household air pollution.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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