Pollution: particulate matter in India higher than WHO limit
Source: The Hindu, Date: , 2015
In 2010, air pollution killed nearly 600,000 people in India,
according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The situation has not changed
in the last five years. A recent study shows that a significant population of
Indian subcontinent breathes air with much higher particulate matter that is
lesser than 2.5 micrometre (PM2.5) in size than the limit set by the WHO.
Outdoor air pollution as a whole, especially the particulate matter, has been
declared as class-1 cancer-causing agent (carcinogen) in 2013 by the
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the WHO.
Besides, it causes other respiratory and heart diseases. The PM2.5 is
particularly dangerous and can cause adverse health effects owing to its
greater penetrability into the human respiratory system and eventual
accumulation in human organs and blood. Rural women, children and elderly
population are more prone to diseases caused by air pollution. Rural women, in
particular, face a greater risk from indoor pollution — locally made mud stoves
fuelled by solid biofuel emit a far greater amount of finer particulate matter.