LANCET STUDY ON AIR POLLUTION EXPOSURE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     4th July 2024        
output themes

Context: A new study published in Lancet Planetary Health reveals that air pollution exposure can lead to deaths even at levels significantly below the Indian national standard. This finding underscores the severe health risks posed by current pollution levels.


Lancet Study on Air Exposure

  • High Mortality: Across major Indian cities, approximately 33,000 deaths annually are linked to PM 2.5 pollution exceeding WHO guidelines of 15 µg/m³.

oNational standard for PM 2.5 (24 hours) is set at 60 µg/m³, significantly higher than WHO guidelines.

  • Regional Disparities in Mortality Rates: Delhi tops the list with 11.5% of deaths attributed to air pollution, followed closely by Varanasi at 10.2%.

oCities like Chennai, Bengaluru, and Shimla, despite meeting national standards, still report significant mortality rates (4.8%, 4.9%, and 3.7% respectively).

  • Factors: Cities with higher mortality rates typically exhibit greater average PM 2.5 exposure due to varied sources and dense population concentrations.
  • Risk Associated with Short-term PM2.5: Even below India's current PM2.5 standards, short-term exposure remains linked to elevated mortality risks in India.
  • Broadening Intervention Focus: Emphasis on extending air quality improvement efforts beyond non-attainment cities to regions with lower but still impactful pollution levels.
  • Targeting Local Combustion Sources: Effective strategies must address local sources like vehicles, generators, and waste burning to mitigate health impacts effectively.





Samadhaan