Air Pollution Killed 14,800 Delhiites in 2016, Says Report; Shanghai, Beijing Top Notorious List
In Indian megacities, the premature deaths were 14,800, 10,500, 7,300, 4,800 and 4,800 in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Chennai respectively.
Image for Representation (File photo/PTI)
New Delhi: Nearly 15,000 people died prematurely in Delhi due to pollution by fine particulate matter in 2016, says a new study, which ranks the national capital third in a list of cities worldwide that reported most deaths due to toxic air.
Shanghai was ranked first in most premature deaths at 17,600 and Beijing second with 18,200 deaths due to PM2.5 pollutant.
PM2.5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter with diameter less than 2.5 mm.
“Air pollution is emerging as the main threat and to overcome it there is a need for a strong air quality management system and the Environment Ministry is finalising a National Premier Action Plan to fight air pollution in Delhi," PTI quoted Anumita Roychowdhury, director at the Centre for Science and Environment, as saying.
PM2.5 has been associated with significant health effects, including cardiovascular diseases, lung diseases, cancer and premature deaths. The PM2.5-related health impacts are notable for megacities across the globe, but Asian megacities have been suffering much more, the study said.
The phenomenon of smog-hit cities became so common recently that the term ‘air-pocalypse' has become synonymous with polluted air, it said.
This study reports PM2.5-related long-term mortality for the year 2016 in 13 megacities of China, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan using an integrated exposure risk (IER) model.
In Indian megacities, the premature deaths were 14,800, 10,500, 7,300, 4,800 and 4,800 in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai, respectively.
Though China has taken initial steps with pollution control targets and strategy, there was an urgent need for government policy in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, the study said.
This study highlighted the need for setting up decisive air quality targets by megacity authorities and advocates for joint regional efforts to control air pollution.
(With PTI inputs)
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