Children inhale more air per kilogramme of body weight and absorb more pollutants relative to adults while their lungs, bodies and brains are still developing.

Air pollution second-biggest reason for deaths among young kids in South Asia: Study

Air pollution was linked to the death of more than 2,60,600 deaths of children under 5 in South Asia in 2021, making it the second-largest death cause for this age group after malnutrition, reported HT.

In 2021, India (169,400 deaths), Nigeria (114,100 deaths), Pakistan (68,100 deaths), Ethiopia (31,100 deaths), and Bangladesh (19,100 deaths) recorded the maximum numbers of air pollution-related deaths among such children, the report said.

“Children are uniquely vulnerable to air pollution and the damage can start in the womb, with health effects that last a lifetime. For example, children inhale more air per kilogramme of body weight and absorb more pollutants relative to adults while their lungs, bodies and brains are still developing,” the report said.

Air quality commission increases tree plantation target by 20% in Delhi NCR to fight dust pollution

Central agency the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) raised the tree plantation target for the National Capital Region (NCR) by 20% to 45 million trees for the financial year 2024-2025 (FY25), BS reported. 

CAQM, created in 2021 planted 36 million trees in FY24 in the NCR along the central verges of roads, roadsides, pathways, etc. to mitigate high levels of dust particularly during the dry summer seasons. In FY22, CAQM planted 2.8 million trees. Over the past three years, tree plantation has increased approximately 16-fold.

In NCR’s dense urban agglomerates, the Commission is backing urban forestry initiatives based on the Miyawaki Technique (planting native species of trees close together in a small area to create dense, biodiverse forests), the news outlet said.

Install CCTVs, pollution sensors at construction sites or invite fine: PWD

For the first time, building contractors will be fined a small amount of ₹500 to ₹2,000 if they are caught violating anti-pollution norms such as the installation of CCTV cameras and pollution sensors at construction sites, keeping the construction material covered, and sprinkling water on unpaved areas.

The PWD issued directions following the guidelines of CAQM (Commission for Air Quality Management), to tackle dust pollution at construction sites. A fine of ₹2,000 will be imposed on CCTV cameras being non-operational for longer than 48 hours at the construction site, ₹500 each for lack of sprinkling on unpaved surfaces for more than four hours, uncovered C&D (construction and demolition) material for six hours or more, and unwashed wheels/vehicles exiting construction sites.

US Supreme Court pauses EPA’s attempt to reduce pollution that drifts across states

The US Supreme Court put on hold the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan to reduce harmful air pollution that drifts across state lines.

The Conservative-dominated court announced a temporary halt to the EPA rule, siding with three states – Ohio, West Virginia and Indiana – and industry allies that are attempting to derail requirements that prevent pollution from billowing into neighbouring states, reported the Guardian. 

About The Author