7 million die every year as 92% of world’s population without clean air

Air pollution has been identified as the third biggest cause of death in the country. Air quality in as many as 102 cities in India is extremely poor, meanwhile, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said Delhi’s poor air quality has reduced by 33 percent.

whopping 92 percent of world’s population are unable to breathe clean air because of air pollution, which has been identified as the cause of 7 million deaths every year across the globe, eminent environmental scientist Prof Uma Charan Mohanty said,

“Pollution is on the rise due to anthropogenic reasons but at the same time, mankind needs energy and development, said to be the contributory factors for pollution. Air pollution is reducing our lifespan by 2 to 3 years,” said Prof Mohanty, Emeritus Professor at IIT, Bhubaneswar.

Air pollution stats

Around 1.2 million people die in India every year due to air pollution which has been identified as the third biggest cause of death in the country, Prof Mohanty said while addressing a programme organised on the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, 2019.

Meanwhile, the air quality in as many as 102 cities in India is extremely poor. Six of these urban centres — Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Balasore, Rourkela, Angul and Talcher, are located in Odisha.

Causes of ever-increasing air pollution

“Vehicular traffic and industry contributes to 40 percent and 25 percent of air pollution, and is also responsible for climate change and extreme weather events,” said Prof Mohanty.

The major anthropogenic reasons for air pollution are growth in vehicular emission, energy generation and industrial growth.

Prof Mohanty said air pollution is also adversely contributing to climate change and triggering weather events like cyclones of extreme intensity and heat waves while rainfall was getting erratic.

“Adaptation to climate change is important and our dependence should shift towards clean energy sources like solar, wind and hydropower,” he said, adding “if we can tap 30 percent of available solar energy, we will not require any other source.”

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