In­dia beats China in pol­lu­tion deaths: Green­peace study

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Soumya Pil­lai soumya.pil­lai@hin­dus­tan­

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.

Fig­ures for deaths ev­ery day, source: Green­peace

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