Hyderabad: Environmentalists in the city on Saturday tore into Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar for saying there has been no “Indian study” to show that pollution shortens life.
This is the furthest thing from the truth, say experts. Capt. J. Rama Rao (Retd) said if that was the case then why are people who don’t smoke being affected with diseases like cancer?
“There is so much of data to support the claim that pollution shortens life. Even if there is no Indian study it is known the world over that pollution shortens life span. If it was such a non-issue then why is there a pollution control act?” questioned Rama Rao.
He also said that there are several studies to prove the ill-effects of pollution.
Incidentally, a study by IIT Delhi — hardly 11 km from Parliament — funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Indian Council of Medical Research says that ‘Air pollution is a major planetary health risk, with India estimated to have some of the worst levels globally. To inform action at sub-national levels in India, we estimated the exposure to air pollution and its impact on deaths, disease burden, and life expectancy in every state of India in 2017.’
Dismissing his claim of life expectancy, a study by the Centre for Science and Environment this June noted that life expectancy has come down by 2.6 years due to air pollution.
The report by the Centre for Science and Environ-ment (CSE) revealed that outdoor and household air pollution together cause deadly diseases: “Air pollution is now the third highest cause of death among all health risks ranking just above smoking in India. This is a combined effect of outdoor particulate matter (PM) 2.5, ozone and household air pollution.”
Due to this combined exposure, South Asians, including Indians, are dying early — their life expectancy has reduced by over 2.6 years, it noted.
“There are several studies to prove that air pollution is harmful. We must take measures to mitigate the ensuing disaster,” said Mahesh M. Palawat, chief meteorologist, Skymet. Also, growing pollution levels are tampering with the weather as well.
Delhi experts, however, working with the Central Pollution Control Board, claim there is no legitimate proof that pollution impacts the individual’s health.
Another study by the Health Effects Institute on air pollution in India (2018) has shown that air pollution is a major problem and should not be ignored. Most of the population is not even aware of the colossal harm caused by the air they breathe every day....