India beats China in pollution deaths: Greenpeace study
More people died of air pollution in India than China last year, a Greenpeace study released on Wednesday said, adding to the worries of millions of Indians facing serious health hazards due to toxic air in major cities including Delhi. The study said outdoor air pollution killed 3,283 people every day in India in 2015, compared to 3,233 in China.
The study found a direct relation between exposure to outdoor air pollution — ozone and particulate matter with diameter less than 2.5 micrometers and 10 micrometers — and premature deaths.
The new findings come days after Delhi faced one of the worst spikes in air pollution that left the city of an estimated 16 million people blanketed in thick smog for more than a week since Diwali on October 30. Multiple monitoring agencies had recorded a sharp rise in PM 2.5, fine pollutants that can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause several health disorders.
Several measures by the government over the years have failed to tackle the capital’s pollution, attributed mainly to vehicular and industrial emissions and during winters, to burning of farm residue in neighbouring states.
Last year, the WHO ranked Delhi as the most polluted city in the world. “The data shows that China’s strong measures in tackling pollution have resulted in a steady reduction in the particulate levels. With India, however, the trend is downward. The year 2015, especially, has been the worst-ever recorded for premature deaths by exposure to pollutants,” said Sunil Dahiya, Greenpeace’s India campaigner.