Contributing to 16.7 lakh deaths in India in 2019, air pollution is the highest risk factor at the moment. A new report according to a US-based NGO has revealed how the around 1 Lakh deaths were of infants.
According to the State of Global Air, 2020, a report, released by Health Effects Institute [HEI], states that India is at the highest risk of air pollution.
“Outdoor and household particulate matter pollution contributed to the death of more than 1,16,000 Indian infants in the their first month of life in 2019. More than half of these deaths were associated with outdoor PM2.5 and others were linked to the use of solid fuel like charcoal, wood and animal dung for cooking” said the report.
Increased infections related to heart and lung diseases are a result of high air pollution and Covid-19 might just aggravate the condition.
Most infected infants were related to the Asian and Sub-Saharan African regions. This clearly depicted how infants’ health was critical in these areas.
Being at the most vulnerable stage, first month might save or bring dawn in one’s life. About 21% of neonatal deaths were a result of setting and household air pollution.
The most fatal incidents occur during pregnancy when the mother is at a high risk of getting tangled in the clutches of pollution. This results in a low weight and other high risk factors for new-borns.
“An infant’s health is critical to the future of every society. And its newest evidence suggests an especially high risk for infants born in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa” said Dan Greenbaum, HEI’s President.
Half of 12.4 Lakh deaths in India were outcomes of air pollution, mostly in people below 70 years, in 2017.
PM2.5 exposure is increased by 6.5 micrograms/ metre cube, resulting in third highest rise. Bangladesh and Nigeria stood took above positions.
Ozone pollution is on the highest affecting factor for particulate matter pollution. Around 76,000 deaths were related to high ozone exposure and 3.73 Lakh deaths to high PM2.5 exposure.
Weaker immune bodies are highly at risk of getting affected by the COVID-19 virus, and resulting increased air pollution makes them more vulnerable to infections and diseases.
China, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, and Iran have seen a drastic decreased air pollution resulting in more immune bodies compared to the people here.
“The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwal Yojana Household LPG Programme and other schemes have helped to dramatically expand access to clean energy, especially for rural households. More recently, the National Clean Air programme has spurred action on major air pollution sources in cities and states around the country” said the reports.
Increased air pollution has obviously poisoned the air we breathe but it has also affected our immune system dramatically.
With covid-19 lurking on streets and pollution as the companion, it is pretty difficult for everyone to live without some adverse effects. Infants are high risk but it is our duty to try our best to reduce the pollution.
A little initiative has never destroyed probabilities. Vaccines will soon be available for covid-19 but air pollution can only be taken care of if we, as a whole, contribute our best.