A state-level analysis by the Global Disease Burden study found that India is home to 32% of the world’s respiratory diseases, with ambient air pollution linked to 33.6% of its chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) cases. Household air pollution (25.8%) and smoking (21%) were also closely responsible.
Pune’s Chest Research Foundation has called for an overarching National Chronic Respiratory Disease Control programme to address the issue.
IIT Kanpur: Air pollution impacting monsoons
Air pollution could be affecting the monsoon season, causing erratic behaviour of rainfall over the Indian sub-continent, including concentrated heavy rainfall. A new study by IIT Kanpur, published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nature Communications, shows how excess aerosols, dust, smoke and industrial effluents in the atmosphere are affecting temperatures, resulting in changing patterns of rainfall during the monsoon season.
Professor SN Tripathi, one of the authors of the paper, told the Indian Express that “an increase in the aerosol content in the atmosphere, a direct consequence of rising air pollution, is interfering with the stable cloud formation system and influencing rainfall patterns”.
Odisha CM launches industrial air pollution rating programme
After Maharashtra, Odisha became the second state to adopt a star rating programme for its industries to ensure transparency and compliance to pollution standards. The state pollution control board and Energy Policy Institute of the University of Chicago collaborated on this project that was launched by Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik. The Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board (MPCB) launched a similar industrial air pollution rating programme last year in association with the University of Chicago.
Curb air pollution caused by crop burning, Delhi minister tells neighbouring states
Delhi’s environment minister Imran Hussain has written to ministers from neighbouring states in a bid to restrict air pollution levels in Delhi during crop-burning season next month. In the letter addressed to ministers from UP, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan, Hussain blamed crop burning in these neighbouring states for the rising air pollution levels in Delhi every October.
The National Green Tribunal has also asked for action plans from Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan for next month.
Study finds soot particles in pregnant mothers’ placentas
Scientists studying pregnant women in London have reported evidence of sooty particulate matter traveling through their lungs and lodging into their placentas – which they say may have a massive impact on the health of the developing foetus.