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Environmental Pollution News 2016

Air pollution cuts life of Indians by average 3.4 years: study


Pune, June, 9. 2016:Air pollution has reduced the life expectancy of Indians by an average of 3.4 years with Delhi topping the list at 6.3 years, according to a study. Delhi is followed by West Bengal and Bihar at the reduced life expectancy at 6.1 years and 5.7 years, respectively, stated the study conducted by the city-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in collaboration with the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Colorado.

Along with Delhi and Bihar, other states where life expectancy is found reduced due to air pollution are: Jharkhand (5.2 years), Uttar Pradesh and Odisha (4.8 years), Haryana and Punjab (4.7 years), Chattisgarh (4.1 years), Assam (4 years), Tripura (3.9 years), Meghalaya (3.8 years) and Maharashtra (3.3 years).

States like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan collectively make for 32 per cent of countrywide PM2.5 premature mortalities. The percentage of the Ozone-related mortalities owing to COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) was highest in Uttar Pradesh (18 pc) followed by Bihar (11 pc), West Bengal (9.5 pc), Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh (7 pc each).

As per the study, the air pollution levels have gone up due to rise in PM2.5 levels as a result of rapid industrialisation, transportation and burning of bio fuels. It quoted a report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) stating that about 78 per cent of the total 141 cities in country exceed the PM2.5 standard. PTI  


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Air pollution levels in Chennai have reached a record high


Chennai, July 22, 2015: Air pollution levels in Chennai have reached a record high with the suspended particulate matter in many pockets of the city at 45 per cent above the permissible limit, according to data analysed by The Hindu. So high are the pollution levels that Chennai has crossed Delhi, widely regarded as the most polluted city in the country, and one of the most polluted in the world.

With the rains staying away, air quality in Chennai is getting worse every day. The industrial belt in north Chennai has always been a polluting factor. And while the Metro may eventually reduce pollution, for now the added construction and traffic jams are only making matters worse, especially in south Chennai.

More than 700 new vehicles get added every day to Chennai's roads, which contributes to a rise in Sulphur dioxide levels. "Traffic is moving at snails speed. That is one of the major reasons behind the Sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide emission. But when compared to other yes it is disturbing," explains Dr P Sudhakar, Joint Director, CPR Environmental Education Centre.  

Green panel directs commercial vehicles entering Delhi to pay environmental tax

    Vehicles in Delhi

New Delhi, October 10, 2015: Acting tough to curb pollution in the national capital, the National Green Tribunal on Wednesday directed all commercial vehicles entering Delhi to pay environmental compensation charge in addition to the toll tax.

The green panel ordered that the compensation would be payable at the rates of Rs. 700 for two-axle vehicles, Rs. 1,000 for three-axle and Rs.500 for four- axle and above.

"It is a conceded position before us that vehicular pollution is one of the main sources of inferior quality of air in Delhi.... Nearly 66,000 heavy commercial vehicles enter Delhi daily. It will be in our considered view, appropriate to direct the check posts to charge transport heavy vehicles entering Delhi as their final destination or enroute to other places entering from Sonipat to pay environmental compensation in addition to toll tax payable," a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

The bench noted that the charges payable by heavy vehicles at toll tax in Delhi was Rs. 600 while in Haryana it varied from Rs. 930 to Rs. 1,550 depending on the kind of trucks entering the state.

The bench also made it clear that all vehicles destined for places other than Delhi shall be diverted at Panipat to take alternate route via NH-71A and NH-71 and exit at Bawal in Haryana.

"The trucks which are not destined to Delhi and have not taken alternate route would not be permitted to enter the capital and would be returned to Panipat to take alternate route," the Tribunal said.

It also directed that the additional amount collected in form of environment compensation by the check posts would be paid to Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) which will maintain a separate account.

"The collected amount would be used for improving the ambient air quality of the capital," the bench said. It also directed Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and DPCC to purchase or arrange instruments for checking emission of moving overloaded heavy vehicles. Source: PTI

World Bank Report shows China’s Air is much worse than India

      World Bank Data

June 25, 2015: According to recently released estimates by the World Bank, China’s air is more than twice as dirty as India. The bank’s “Little Green Data Book” of environmental indicators, unveiled last week, included a new gauge of air pollution. To the standard measures of environmental health–including forest cover and carbon emissions–it added PM 2.5 levels, which measure airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns.

These tiny pollutants are microscopic and can enter the lungs and even pollute a person’s blood stream. They are linked to severe health problems including lung cancer. “These data show that in many parts of the world exposure to air pollution is increasing at an alarming rate and has become the main environmental threat to health,” the forward of the World Bank book said. “Exposure to ambient PM 2.5 pollution in 2010 resulted in more than 3.2 million premature deaths globally.”

The World Bank data put the South Asian nation’s annual mean PM 2.5 at 32 micrograms per cubic meter. That’s three times the bank’s recommended level of 10 or less, but in line with the global average. It is also well below China’s mean annual exposure of 73 micrograms per cubic meter.  Of the 200 countries in the book, only the United Arab Emirates did worse than China.  

The World Bank data showed that air quality deteriorates as countries evolve from lower income levels and become more affluent. Air only starts to improve once countries attain high-income status, which the World Bank defines as having gross national income per capita of $12,746 or more. Source:

Air pollution may damage brain

     Human brain

New York,June 16, 2015 :Long-term exposure to air pollution may lead to loss of white matter in the brain, a research has found. White matter in the brain is made of axon cells, which enable the nerves to communicate.

In a new study, older women who lived in places with higher air pollution had significantly reduced white matter in the brain.

"Investigating the impact of air pollution on the human brain is a new area of environmental neurosciences," said lead author of the study Jiu-Chiuan Chen from Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California in the US. 


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