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627,000 die every year due to particles’ air pollution: Sunita Narain

Pollution in air particles causes about 627,000 deaths every year on Earth, said environmentalists. Known as Particulate air pollution where the microscopic solid and liquid matter suspended in our atmosphere, environmentalists it leads to hundreds of thousands of deaths or loss of 18 million healthy life years.

The experts said the grave situation caused by carbon or the dark core of particulate matter was contributing to the health burden despite decades of air quality management, and it has remained one of the top 10 killers wold over.

“It has been found that black carbon — which is a product of incomplete combustion and already a deadly local pollutant — is contributing to the high health burden,” said Sunita Narain, director general of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

Sunita Narain (Photo courtesy: CSE)

Participating at the Anil Agarwal Dialogue held in memory of CSE’s founder Anil Agarwal in New Delhi, Sunita Narain said,”Black carbon is local air pollutant and has global impact as well. The issue to deliberate will be the emerging science on local-global pollutants and also to understand the national road maps for intervention in key areas of mitigation and to see if these are sufficient or transformational approaches are needed.”

Echoing similar view, Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director of CSE, said high black carbon emitted from increase in number of diesel vehicles, use of high-sulfur diesel, out-dated technology of vehicles and expansion in road-based freight traffic have added to local health risks as well as the global climate risk.

“Black carbon is also co-emitted with a range of other toxic and warming gases. This link between local and global impacts of diesel particulates now changes the geo-politics around diesel emission mitigation, as the policies and action on diesel transport vary widely across vehicle-producing and vehicle-importing nations in developed and developing countries,” said Roychowdhury.

Some of the other key issues to be discussed during the two-day event include science of short-lived climate pollutants, and local and global impact of diesel emissions, brick kilns and cook stoves.

Drawing attention to the need to find approaches for affordable access to sustainable mobility and clean technology, cleaner techniques for building material and energy access for all, Roychowdhury said, “Without this, we will not be able to move forward.”(IANS)

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