State-wise steps must for safe air
■ THE STUDY revealed that almost 77 per cent of the Indian population was exposed to outdoor air pollution levels which were higher than the safe limits prescribed by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
A study taken up by the Indian Council of Medical Research along with other stakeholders has revealed that statespecific initiatives have to be taken up to tackle air pollution.
Reporting that 12.4 lakh deaths had been attributed to air pollution in 2017, the study has found that life expectancy in India would have been 1.7 years higher if air pollution was lower than the levels recorded.
The study revealed that almost 77 per cent of the Indian population was exposed to outdoor air pollution levels which were higher than the safe limits prescribed by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
Exposure to toxic particulate matter is responsible for shortening people’s life span. The particulate matter when inhaled, deposits in the lungs and the respiratory system is severely affected.
Senior physician, Dr Ramananda Srikanthiah N. said, “The ICMR report is clear that pollution is a slow but steady killer. The particulate matter is being absorbed into the circulatory system and is pumped all around the body. It is becoming very important to understand the effects of air pollution on overall health and well-being. There is a need for specialised research and a targeted approach which will help to reduce pollution levels.”
Experts said that the report shows that it is a health emergency and to ensure that there are results, the municipalities, state and central government have to work together to achieve the results.
Senior general physician Dr T. Haresh said, “The winter season will require more participation in terms of precautionary measures for those suffering from asthma, chronic bronchitis, heart patients, pregnant women and children. They will require a targeted prevention method to deal with outdoor air pollution till the levels are brought down. Apart from changing the travel timings, avoiding long distance travel and isolation will also have to be advocated. Awareness has to brought about that this is only to protect them.”