Heal Foundation has come out with more statistics about India’s capital Delhi’s pollution revealing that about 2 crore residents are at higher risk and children more prone lung diseases compared to other cities.
A WHO report has already rattled Delhi authorities keeping it on top of all Indian metros while saying people are at higher risk of heart stroke, lung disease and cancer. Now the Heal Foundation says polluted air is causing as much damage to lungs as 10 cigarettes may cause daily.
A 2010 study on “Global Burden of Disease” found that outdoor air pollution is the fifth largest killer in India, indoor air pollution being the second largest.
However, the study noted that the country’s air quality has seen improvements in the last 15 years, citing the Central Pollution Control Board monitored statistics on the four main air pollutants — oxides of nitrogen (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), respirable particulate matter (PM10) and suspended particulate matter (SPM).
Another 2014 report of the Ambient Air Pollution (AAP) database shows that the outdoor air pollution from almost 1600 cities in 91 countries shows that Delhi ranks poor in the category with its air having PM2.5 concentrations of 153 micrograms and PM10 concentrations of 286 micrograms, much higher than the permissible limits.
Heal Foundation states that 4 out of 10 children in Delhi are suffering from lung problems based its screening of kids aged 10 to 14 recently. About 21% of them have weaker lungs, whereas Mumbai and Bangalore kids come way below at 13% and 14% respectively.