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Last Updated : Jul 13, 2018 03:03 PM IST | Source:

Over 15,000 people died prematurely due to fine dust in Delhi in 2016: Report

Illnesses due to fine dust include heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, lung cancer among adults, and upper respiratory tract illnesses in children.

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Over 15,000 people died prematurely in Delhi in 2016 from illnesses linked to fine particulate matter pollution, Hindustan Times reported, citing a study by researchers from India, Singapore and Thailand.

In the study, which assessed pollution-related deaths in 13 megacities in across South Asia and China, Delhi ranked third after Beijing (18,200) and Shanghai (17,600) in terms of the number deaths related to particulate matter that is 2.5 microns or less in diameter (PM 2.5).

Mumbai reported the fourth highest number of deaths.

Also read — New study suggests 13 measures that can reduce air pollution by 40%

Illnesses due to fine dust include heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, lung cancer among adults, and upper respiratory tract illnesses among children.

The study revealed that this is the first time the disease burden associated with PM 2.5 has been calculated for Chennai and Bangalore. In both cities, almost 5,000 people died from PM 2.5-linked causes in 2016.

Concerns around the rising air pollution across India have mounted in recent rimes after various studies highlighted problems caused by the pollution. A Global Burden of Disease report published last year estimated that 1.1 million deaths in India were linked to PM 2.5 air pollution in 2015.

Air pollution-linked deaths in India could increase to 3.6 million by 2050 if no further action is taken, according to a report published by the Health Effects Institute and Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay this year.

"We are seeing increasing air pollution problems worldwide, and this new report and website details why that air pollution is a major contributor to early death," Dan Greenbaum, President of the Health Effects Institute

China and India together were responsible for over half of the total global attributable deaths, Greenbaum said, adding that the trends show that even though there is progress in some parts of the world, serious challenges remain.

In November, heavy smog choked Delhiites as the city woke up to ‘severe' air quality for days. Pollution levels breached the permissible standards by multiple times. This sparked concern among the National Green Tribunal, Prime Minister's Office and the NITI Aayog.

NITI Aayog then proposed a 15-point action plan for combating air pollution in the 10 most polluted cities in the country, including Delhi, Kanpur and Varanasi.

Also read — DATA STORY: Living in Delhi can cut 9 years of your life, one breath at a time

The Environment Ministry also released a draft of the National Clean Air Programme. The draft, however, was strongly criticized for the absence of specific targets for pollution reduction.

Greenpeace India said the absence of pollution reduction targets in the plan, of 35 percent in three years and 50 percent in five years, was a cause of "grave concern".

First Published on Jul 13, 2018 03:03 pm
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