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Air Pollution



Nine of the ten cities in the world with the worst air pollution are located in South Asia, and the region as a whole suffers from an estimated 2 million premature deaths per year as well as considerable economic consequences. Children's cognitive development can be stunted and their immune systems can become infected, which can lead to chronic and life-threatening illnesses due to the escalating air pollution in the world. This might indeed have a drastic effect on their overall growth and development. According to a recent World Bank assessment, the area may attain clean air if national policies and investments are coordinated. However, these solutions must be economically viable and cost-effective. Around the world, big factories, power plants, and automobiles are the main contributors to air pollution, but in South Asia, other sources add far more. These include cremation, burning of municipal and agricultural waste, burning of solid waste for cooking and heating, emissions from small businesses like brick kilns, and burning of solid trash. In South Asia, dangerously high levels of air pollution have led to a serious public health catastrophe that necessitates an immediate response. To effectively reduce air pollution, local and national jurisdictional borders must work closely together in addition to addressing the problem's origins. Regional collaboration can assist with the implementation of affordable collaborative plans that capitalize on the interdependence of air quality.



Effects of air pollution

Globally, air pollution is a silent killer. India has some of the worst air pollutions in the world, endangering both the country's economy and public health. Ambient PM 2.5, the most deadly pollutant, is present in unsafe proportions in all of India's 1.4 billion inhabitants and comes from a variety of sources. These microscopic particles have a diameter of fewer than 2.5 microns or about one-thirtieth of human hair. Lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease are just a few of the terrible conditions that exposure to PM 2.5 can bring on. In India in 2019, it is predicted that 1.7 million premature deaths were brought on by outdoor and interior air pollution. Pollution's negative effects on human health come at a significant economic expense. In 2017, the amount of lost labor income as a result of PM 2.5-related fatal illnesses ranged between $30 to 78 billion, or around 0.3 to 0.9 percent of the GDP of the nation. The 1.4 billion people who live in India are all subject to unsafe concentrations of ambient PM 2.5, the most dangerous pollutant, which come from a variety of sources. Tools are being introduced by the World Bank initiative to help state and local air quality control strategies. These projects will contribute to the creation of India's first State Air Quality Action Plan and India's first significant Airshed Action Plan for the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP), which encompass seven union territories and states.


There are numerous sources of PM 2.5. Emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels like coal or oil and biomass like wood, charcoal, or crop leftovers are some of the most frequent sources. In addition to natural dust, dust from industrial plants, roadways, and building sites can also be a source of PM 2.5. When other forms of gaseous pollutants, such as ammonia (NH3), mix with other gaseous pollutants, like sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), from another location, they create more than half of India's PM 2.5 emissions. Secondary PM 2.5 is primarily formed in houses, industrial facilities, power plants, and transportation. This secondary form moves across states, cities, and jurisdictional borders and disseminates more widely than primary PM2.5. Therefore, India's air pollution problem is inevitably multi-sectoral and multi-jurisdictional. An airshed is the general geographic region where pollutants mix and produce comparable air quality for everyone. Cities must deploy a new set of instruments for airshed-based management and look beyond their immediate jurisdiction for effective air pollution control measures.

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