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2,500 people may die daily due to polluted air by 2040: report

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New Delhi: An average 2,500 people may die daily due to polluted air by 2040 in India if the government fails to put in stringent regulations to check outdoor air pollution, a report said today.

The report by International Energy Agency (IEA) World Energy Outlook(WEO) also mentioned that in 2015, 5,90,000 premature deaths were attributed to outdoor air pollution annually– an average of over 1,600 a day. An additional one million premature deaths were due to household air pollution.

The report, which analyzed two scenarios including existing new policies, said the rules are effective in cutting power sector pollutant emissions while the New Bharat VI standard brings down NOX and PM2.5 emissions in transport but these achievements are more than “offset” by strong growth in emissions from industry and transformation sector.

Advocating a clean air scenario, it said it will demonstrate the positive impact that timely and more stringent air pollution regulations can have on public health. It also said that the number of premature deaths associated with household air pollution will drop to around 8 lakhs if use of cleaner cook stoves expands.

Talking about Delhi, which has been plagued by poor air quality for more than a decade, it said that the ambient concentrations of respirable PM2.5 have been more than ten-times in excess of the WHO air quality guideline value.

“The net result is that air quality remains an important policy concern through to 2040. Although the average loss of life expectancy declines to 16 months, the number of people dying prematurely from outdoor air pollution grows to over 9,00,000.
“The number of premature deaths associated with household air pollution drops to around 8,00,000 as the use of cleaner cook stoves expands,” the report said. PTI

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