Wednesday March 20, 2019

Air Pollution Not Fatal But Could Reduce Life Expectancy By A Year

In countries like India and China, the benefit for elderly people of improving air quality would be especially large.

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Air pollution, asia
Air pollution shortens life by more than one year in India. Wikimedia Commons

If air pollution were removed as a risk for death, people in the world could live at least a year longer and in India, which is battling a severe air pollution, the benefit would be even more — about 1.5 years, says study.

“Here, we were able to systematically identify how air pollution also substantially shortens lives around the world,” said lead researcher Joshua Apte from The University of Texas at Austin in the US.

“What we found is that air pollution has a very large effect on survival — on average about a year globally,” Apte added.

For the study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters, the researchers looked at outdoor air pollution from particulate matter (PM) smaller than 2.5 microns.

These fine particles that can come from power plants, cars and trucks, fires, agriculture and industrial emissions can enter deep into the lungs, and breathing PM2.5 is associated with increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, respiratory diseases and cancer.

Delhi air pollution
Stubble burning is one of the main reason behind heavy pollution in the Delhi and NCR region. Wikimedia Commons

The team used data from the Global Burden of Disease Study to measure PM2.5 air pollution exposure and its consequences in 185 countries.

They then quantified the national impact on life expectancy for each individual country as well as on a global scale.

“A body count saying 90,000 Americans or 1.1 million Indians die per year from air pollution is large but faceless,” Apte said.

“Saying that, on average, a population lives a year less than they would have otherwise — that is something relatable,” he added.

In the context of other significant phenomena negatively affecting human survival rates, Apte said this is a big number.

Also Read: How Auxillary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) in Remote Tribal Belts of Andhra Pradesh in India Have Brought Down Maternal Deaths to Zero

“For example, it’s considerably larger than the benefit in survival we might see if we found cures for both lung and breast cancer combined,” he said.

“In countries like India and China, the benefit for elderly people of improving air quality would be especially large. For much of Asia, if air pollution were removed as a risk for death, 60-year-olds would have a 15 per cent to 20 per cent higher chance of living to age 85 or older,” Apte said (IANS)

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Google Launching New Photo Back up Options For Users in India

Launched in May 2015, Google Photos is a photo sharing and storage service developed by the search-engine giant that gives users free, unlimited storage for their photos

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Google
The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

Google Photos on Monday launched its “Express” back-up feature for users in India. The feature will be available to a small percentage of Google Photos users on Android.

It allows faster back up at reduced resolutions, making it easier to store pictures even with poor or infrequent Wi-Fi availability, the company wrote in a blog post.

“We learned that over a third of the people using Google Photos in India have some photos that hadn’t been backed up in over a month. We want to make sure that our app meets the unique needs of people wherever they are,” the post said.

Google on an Android device. Pixabay

“You will still have the option to choose from the existing back-up options: Original Quality and High Quality,” the post said.

In addition to “Express”, Google will also introduce a new “Data Cap” option for back up to give users more granular daily controls for using cellular data to back up.

Also Read- 4,000 Viewed NZ Mosques Shootings Live, Claims Facebook

The company is slowly releasing the “Express” back-up feature for Google Photos in others countries as well, the post added.

Launched in May 2015, Google Photos is a photo sharing and storage service developed by the search-engine giant that gives users free, unlimited storage for their photos. (IANS)