PM2.5 Current Affairs - 2020

Kanpur is world’s most polluted city: Guinness World Records 2020

The city of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh held the title for the world’s most polluted city in the latest edition of Guinness World Records. The book, ‘Guinness World Records 2020’, lists thousands of new record titles and holders that will educate curious readers of all age groups. It is released annually by publisher Penguin Random House. This year, about 80 record breaking achievements by Indians that have made it to latest edition of book.

Kanpur: The Most Polluted City in the World

A report by World Health Organization (WHO) analyzed that the most polluted city in the world is Kanpur in northern India, with an average PM2.5 level of 173 micrograms/m3 for the year 2016. This PM2.5 level is more than 17 times higher than WHO recommended maximum of 10 micrograms/m3.

What is PM2.5?

 It refers to atmospheric particulate matter(PM) that have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers (i.e. nearly 3% diameter of a human hair). The PM2.5 are very small particles like dust, soot and ash and the prolonged exposure of it can cause cancer, lung and heart conditions.

Cause of PM2.5 pollution: Some PM2.5 particles are emitted directly from a source, like construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks or fires while most particles form in atmosphere as a result of complex chemical reactions like SO2 and NO2, which are pollutants emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles.

NOTE: Out of the world’s 20 most PM2.5-polluted cities, 14 are in India.

Air Pollution Raises Diabetes Risk

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.