This graphics rich FT article shows why those who live in India (especially those of us who are raising our children in India) need to be alive to the biggest threat to public health in this country.

“The FT collated NASA satellite data of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), a key standard for measuring air quality, and mapped it against population density data from the European Commission…those breathing air contaminated with particulates that multiple times over the level deemed same – 10 micrograms of PM2.5 – by the WHO. More than 4.2bn people in Asia are breathing air many times dirtier than the WHO limit…Historically China has grabbed most headlines for poor air quality. But the data on PM2.5 pollution between 1996 and 2016 show India is now in a worse state than its larger neighbour ever was….At least 140mn people in India are breathing air 10 times or more over the WHO safe limit. A study published in The Lancet estimates that in 2017 air pollution killed 1.24mn India. The 10 most polluted cities in the world are all in northern India….The biggest causes are vehicular pollution, industrial emissions, thermal power plants, construction dust, waste burning and millions of poor households’ use of cheap and dirty fuels…” [Emphasis in bold is ours.]


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