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.

Deccan Chronicle - - City - DC COR­RE­SPON­DENT

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.”

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