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Meru Cabs to help curb pollution, launches ‘ride-share’

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Meru cabs

New Delhi: Doing its bit to control air pollution, Meru Cabs announced on Tuesday a new service through which passengers can share their cabs ride with others.

The customers will be provided with an option of sharing their Meru cabs ride with other co-passenger who intends to travel in the same direction.

A fixed 30 percent discount on the estimated trip fare would be applicable for the customers who chose the “ride-share” option, the taxi company said. Customers will be charged a fixed fare, which will be communicated to them before booking.

The “ride-share” services were launched keeping in view the issue of traffic congestion and escalating pollution in the national capital and its adjoining areas, said the company.

“By choosing to share your personal vehicle with others or sharing a CNG-fuelled Meru cab by Ride Share, citizens can now contribute to solving the city’s travel woes,” Meru Cabs Group CEO Siddhartha Pahwa said.

The company has also introduced ‘Meru’s ICE (In Case of Emergency) feature’, which allows passengers to share details of their location with registered emergency contacts. (IANS)

(Photo: techstory.in)

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Exposure to Ground Level Ozone Increases Risk of Death

Daily exposure to ozone pollution ups mortality risk

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Ozone
Researchers have found that daily exposure to ground level ozone in cities worldwide is associated with an increased risk of death. Pixabay

Researchers have found that daily exposure to ground level ozone in cities worldwide is associated with an increased risk of death. This is the latest health news.

Ground level ozone is a highly reactive gas commonly found in urban and suburban environments, formed when pollutants react in sunlight.

The findings, published in the journal The BMJ, based on data from over 400 cities in 20 countries across the world – show that more than 6,000 deaths each year would have been avoided in the selected cities if countries had implemented stricter air quality standards.

Ozone
What’s more, smaller but still substantial mortality impacts were found even for ozone concentrations below WHO guideline levels. Pixabay

“These findings have important implications for the design of future public health actions; particularly, for example, in relation to the implementation of mitigation strategies to reduce the impacts of climate change,” said researchers from University of Bern in Switzerland.

Current air quality thresholds (in micrograms per cubic meter of ambient air) range from 100 µg/m3 (WHO), 120 µg/m3 (European Union directive), 140 µg/m3 (US National Ambient Air Quality Standard), and 160 µg/m3 (Chinese Ambient Air Quality Standard).

Recent reviews suggest that 80 per cent of the world’s population in urban areas are exposed to air pollution levels above the WHO threshold.

Most previous studies have found positive associations between ground level ozone and mortality, but differences in study design and quality make it difficult to draw consistent conclusions across different regions.

Ozone
Ground level ozone is a highly reactive gas commonly found in urban and suburban environments, formed when pollutants react in sunlight. Pixabay

To try and address this, an international research team has analysed deaths and environmental measures (weather and air pollutants) in 406 cities of 20 countries, with overlapping periods between 1985 and 2015.

Using data from the Multi-City Multi-Country Collaborative Research Network, they derived daily average ozone levels (above a maximum background level of 70 µg/m3), particulate matter, temperature, and relative humidity at each location to estimate the daily number of extra deaths attributable to ozone. A total of 45,165,171 deaths were analysed in the 406 cities. On average, a 10 µg/m3 increase in ozone during the current and previous day was associated with a 0.18 per cent increased risk of death, suggesting evidence of a potential direct association.

This equates to 6,262 extra deaths each year (or 0.2 per cent of total mortality) in the 406 cities that could potentially have been avoided if countries had implemented stricter air quality standards in line with the WHO guideline.

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What’s more, smaller but still substantial mortality impacts were found even for ozone concentrations below WHO guideline levels, supporting the WHO initiative of encouraging countries to revisit the current air quality guidelines and enforcing stronger emission restrictions to meet these recommendations, say the researchers. (IANS)