Improving air quality – in clean and dirty places – could potentially avoid millions of pollution-related deaths each year. That finding comes from a team of environmental engineering and public health researchers who developed a global model of how changes in outdoor air pollution could lead to changes in the rates of health problems such as heart attack, stroke and lung cancer.
Neither India nor China are anywhere near meeting air quality guidelines set by the World Health Organization. In India, pollution levels are still on the rise.In Delhi alone, almost half of the 4.4 million schoolchildren had irreversible lung problems, according to a recent study by the WHO.India and China would need to reduce average levels of tiny, inhalable particulate matter called PM 2.5 by 20 to 30 per cent merely to offset their demographic changes and keep mortality rates steady, according to this study.
PM pollution comes from fires, coal power plants, cars and trucks, and agricultural and industrial emissions. In low-income countries, PM also comes from burning coal, wood, crop waste and animal dung for cooking and heating, and from open burning of trash.
Earlier in March, China declared “war” against pollution, imposing stiffer fines and harsher punishments for those who violate environmental protection regulations. In fact, Chinese government authorities are using drones to monitor .
China and India are the top two most populous countries – whose pollution levels are turning their cities into hubs of death.