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link between air pollution and illness
studies have shown a close relationship between air pollution in Delhi and elevated levels of mortality and morbidity
compared with less polluted, rural areas of India, respiratory symptoms and diseases such as asthma are 1.7x higher in Delhi
lung function among Delhi's inhabitants is on average 40% reduced, compared to 21% in rural areas. Hypertension is also 40% higher
changes in air pollution and morbidity
as air pollution levels have increased in recent years, Delhi has seen a significant rise in pollution-related cancers (lung, bladder)
while smoking remains the largest cause of lung cancer, 1 in 5 cases occur in non-smokers: a 20% increase in a decade
between 2008 and 2010, lung cancer rates for men in Delhi rose from 14 per 100,000 to 15.5
for women this rose from 4.2 per 100,000 to 4.6
how severe is air pollution in India?
levels of air pollution in India are among the highest in the world
research published in 2015 showed that air pollution reduced the life expectancy of 660 million Indians by more than 3 years, and that 99% of India's 1.2 billion people breathe polluted air above safe levels defined by the WHO
what causes indoor air pollution
in rural areas, households often depend on biomass fuels due to a lack of electricity. These include animal dung for heating and paraffin for cooking and lighting
indoor air pollution from these sources is responsible for about 1 million premature deaths per year
what does pm 2.5 mean?
tiny air-borne particles smaller that 2.5 micrometres that are able to penetrate deep into people's lungs
they are released by burning fossil fuels
what are the safe guidelines for pm 2.5?
the WHO's guidelines set safe pm 2.5 pollution levels at 10 micrograms per cubic metre
India, however, sets permissible levels at 40 micrograms per cubic metre. Even so, pm 2.5 levels exceed this in most cities
for example, in winter months, air pollution in Delhi often exceeds 600 micrograms per cubic metre
what causes outdoor air pollution?
air pollution is due to emissions of particulates, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and ozone, principally by motor vehicles, coal-burning power stations and factories