Friday, August 28, 2015

PM2.5 Concentrations Retrieved from Satellite Data

Air pollution has been linked to a slew of health complications, including respiratory and cardiovascular disease, asthma, stroke, cancer, and premature death. In 2012, the WHO estimated that ambient air pollution alone caused 3.7 million premature deaths across the globe. Countries in the midst of rapid economic growth, such as India, are particularly susceptible to poor air quality and its health effects. Developing economies may face challenges regulating industrial growth, urbanization, and vehicular emissions, which can lead to excessive ambient air pollution.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Google Measuring Street Level Pollution in the Cities

Aclima, Inc., a San Francisco-based company that designs and deploys environmental sensor networks, today announced a new partnership with Google Earth Outreach to map and better understand urban air quality. The partnership enables a paradigm-shift in environmental awareness by equipping Street View. Read more @ Smithsonian

Monday, August 10, 2015

Diesel vs. CNG Buses in Delhi !!

The advocacy group Embarq studied emissions from buses run on different fuels in Mexico, Brazil and India, and found that CNG buses emit more micro particles. “Lowsulphur diesel particles were found to be slightly bigger than those from CNG. We also found that overloaded CNG vehicles emit even more micro particles,“ said Amit Bhatt, strategy head, urban transport, Embarq. “We can say that Euro V and Euro VI diesel is as good as CNG in terms of other pollutants, and superior if you consider particulate emissions,“ Bhatt added. For now, CNG can't be labeled a highly polluting fuel because its particulate emissions are lower than those from diesel. Anumita Roychowdhury , head of Centre for Science and Environment's Clean Air campaign, said European countries have started measuring ultrafine particles because they have addressed the problem of particulate emissions from diesel. India, however, should focus on reducing PM emissions that are a leading cause of death, she added. Read more @ Times of India

Sunday, August 09, 2015

At Least 11% Delhites Suffer from Asthma

More than 11% of Delhiites are suffering from asthma and rhinits, the government said while acknowledging that air pollution is an "aggravating" factor for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. "As per a survey conducted by Vallabbhai Patel Chest Institute Delhi in 2006, which covered 5,900 adults belonging to urban, rural and slum population in Delhi, 11.69% were found to be suffering from Rhinits and 11.03% from Asthma," Health Minister J P Nadda said in the Lok Sabha on Friday.  Article from Times of India

Though there is no specific data indicating exact number of cases and deaths due to air pollution, epidemiological studies, by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to assess the long term impact of air pollution on human health, showed a link between pollution and various diseases. "The studies indicate several pulmonary and systematic changes, altered immunity and other health impairments associated with cumulative exposure to high level of particulate pollution that increases the risk of various diseases including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases," Nadda said.

From indoor air pollution, China accounted for nearly 1.5 million and India for close to 1.3 million. Between them, the two Asian giants accounted for nearly two-thirds of the global total. As for outdoor pollution, the south-east Asian region, which includes India in the WHO categorisation, accounted for about 9.4 lakh deaths and the category that includes China had 1.7 million. The two regions were home to over two-thirds of global deaths due to this cause. The WHO assessment also highlighted that around 30% of all lung cancer deaths can be attributed to the joint effects of household and ambient air pollution, emphasizing on the link between pollution and increasing disease burden.

Rising air pollution and the increasing disease burden due to it has emerged as a major concern. Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) also highlighted the issue in its 68th World Health Assembly, held in Geneva, where India assumed presidency after a gap of 19 years. As per WHO assessment, deaths due to air pollution have increased fourfold across the globe over the past decade. China and India are by far the worst affected countries. According to WHO, about 8 million deaths globally are attributable to air pollution, which includes about 4.3 million deaths each year associated with exposure to household (indoor) air pollution and further 3.7 million deaths because of ambient (outdoor) air pollution.