?Pollution and Health? Report

‘Pollution and Health’ Report

News: According to a recent report ‘Pollution and Health: A progress Update’, published in The Lancet Planetary Health, Air Pollution was responsible for 16.7 lakh deaths in India in 2019, or 17.8% of all deaths.

Highlights:
• Of the 16.7 lakh deaths, around 9.8 lakh deaths were caused by PM 2.5 Pollution, and another 6.1 lakh by household air pollution.
• Although the number of deaths from pollution sources associated with extreme poverty (such as indoor air pollution and water pollution) has decreased, these reductions are offset by increased deaths attributable to industrial pollution (such as ambient air pollution and chemical pollution).
• Air pollution is the most severe in the Indo-Gangetic Plain.
• Burning of biomass in households was the single largest cause of air pollution deaths in India, followed by coal combustion and crop burning.
• The number of deaths remains high despite India’s considerable efforts against household air pollution, including through the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana programme.
• Despite a National Clean Air Programme, a Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region, India does not have a strong centralised administrative system to drive its air pollution control efforts and consequently improvements in overall air quality have been limited and uneven.

Recommendations:
• Inclusion of modern pollution prevention in multilateral development institutions' country strategy frameworks.
• International organisations and national governments need to continue expanding the focus on pollution as one of the triumvirate of global environmental issues, alongside climate change and biodiversity.
• Affected countries must focus resources on addressing air pollution, lead pollution, and chemical pollution, which are the key issues in modern pollution.
• A massive rapid transition to wind and solar energy will reduce ambient air pollution in addition to slowing down climate change.
• All sectors need to integrate pollution control into plans to address other key threats such as climate, biodiversity, food, and agriculture. All sectors need to support a stronger stand on pollution in planetary health, One Health, and energy transition work.

Government initiatives to contain Air pollution:
• Graded Response Action Plan
• Polluter Pay Principle
• Smog Tower
• Tallest Air Purifier
• BS-VI vehicles
• National Clean Air Program (NCAP)
• Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)
• Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana 

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