PM2.5 Current Affairs - 2019
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A study in China has shown that Air pollution raises diabetes risk in China. The findings of the study were based on the data collected from over 88,000 people across 15 provinces, estimating their exposure to PM2.5 based on satellite data from 2004 to 2015.
The study was conducted by researchers from Fuwai Hospital in Beijing and Emory University in the US and was published online by journal Environment International.
Findings of the Study
- Long-term exposure to harmful smog particles increases the risk of diabetes, The study provides evidence for a link between the country’s air pollution and the disease.
- Increased prosperity has resulted in changing diets and lifestyles, along with an air pollution crisis that the World Health Organization estimates causes over a million premature deaths every year.
- The risk of diabetes rose by about 16 per cent for an increase of 10 microgrammes per cubic metre in long-term PM2.5 particle exposure.
- Similar studies in North America, Europe, Hong Kong and Taiwan have shown links between air pollution with diabetes.
Unites Nations study published in 2017 noted that China is facing the largest diabetes problem in the world with around 11 per cent of its population suffering from metabolic illness. It is expected that the sustained improvement of air quality will help decrease the diabetes epidemic in China.
According to Global Urban Air Pollution database released by World Health Organisation (WHO), 14 Indian cities have figured in list of world’s 20 most polluted cities in terms of particulate matter PM2.5 levels in 2016. These 14 cities include Delhi, Varanasi, Kanpur, Faridabad, Gaya, Patna, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur. They were followed by Ali Subah Al-Salem (Kuwait) and few cities in China and Mongolia. In terms of PM10 levels, 13 cities in India figured among the 20 most-polluted cities.
The database measured levels of fine particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) from more than 4,300 cities in 108 countries. It estimates that around 7 million people die every year from exposure to fine particles in polluted air that penetrate deep into lungs and cardiovascular system. WHO recognises air pollution is critical risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) as it causes diseases including stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections, including pneumonia. Since 2016, over 1,000 additional cities are being added to WHO’s database, showing that more countries are measuring and taking action to reduce air pollution than ever before.
Pollution related Deaths: According to WHO database, ambient air pollution alone caused some 4.2 million deaths in 2016 across the globe, while household air pollution from cooking with polluting fuels and technologies has caused 3.8 million deaths in same period. It shows that 9 out of 10 people in the world breathe air containing high levels of pollutants.
Global Scenario: More than 90% of air pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (including India), mainly in Asia and Africa. It is followed by low-and middle-income countries of Eastern Mediterranean region, Europe and Americas. More than 80% of people living in urban areas are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits. While all regions of world are affected, populations in low-income cities are most impacted.
South Asia region: It alone accounts for 1.5 million (40%) deaths by household air pollution and 1.3 million (30%) global deaths due to ambient air pollution. Member-countries in Southeast Asia Region need to aggressively address double burden of household and ambient (outdoor) air pollution.
Lack of clean fuel: Around 3 billion people (more than 40% of the world’s population) still do not have access to clean cooking fuels and technologies in their homes, the main source of household air pollution.
Since 2016, over 1,000 additional cities have been added to WHO’s database, which shows more countries are measuring and taking action to reduce air pollution than ever before.