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Most polluted city in the world, Delhi suffers from a toxic blend, says W.H.O.

India's capital was the only megacity to record a PM10 level above 200 µg/m³, exceeding the WHO air quality standard of 20 µg/m³ by more than 900 per cent

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India's capital Delhi one of the most polluted cities in the world

October 4, 2016: Delhi’s air is the worst among world megacities, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed recently, even as IndiaSpend’s #breathe network of air-quality sensors reported fine-particulate-matter (PM2.5) levels were almost four times above daily safe levels, on average, for the seven-day period from September 22 to 28, 2016.

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For long-term exposure, these 24-hour levels are nearly 11 times above the WHO health standards.

Over the monsoon, Delhi’s air was relatively cleaner because the rain and wind diminished the impact of pollutants. But with the season changing, three of our five sensors in the National Capital Region (NCR) registered “poor” to “very poor” air-quality levels from September 22 to 28, meaning prolonged exposure affects healthy people and “seriously impacts” those with existing disease.

In December 2015, week-long analysis of data from #breathe devices showed Delhi’s air pollution was one-and-a-half times worse than in Beijing, IndiaSpend reported.

In 2012, with one million deaths, China reported the highest toll from PM2.5 and PM10 pollution. At the time, India followed, reporting 621,138 deaths, nearly 10 per cent of the global toll (6.5 million deaths) associated with outdoor and indoor air pollution.

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Delhi However, between 2011 and 2015, in a comparison of megacities with population above 14 million, Delhi’s ambient air-pollution levels were worse than Beijing and Shanghai, an IndiaSpend analysis of the WHO’s 2016 data of global ambient air pollution showed.

recorded a PM10 level of 229 µg/m³, followed by Cairo with 179 µg/m³ and Dhaka with 158 µg/m³ — the top three megacities with the most polluted air globally. Beijing and Shanghai were sixth and seventh on that list.

China air-pollution death toll highest in 2012 but Delhi ambient air worse

India’s capital was the only megacity to record a PM10 level above 200 µg/m³, exceeding the WHO air quality standard of 20 µg/m³ by more than 900 per cent.

Beijing and Shanghai reported ambient air pollution levels of 108 and 84 µg/m³ respectively.

Even Kolkata and Mumbai — recording PM10 levels of 135 µg/m³ and 117 µg/m³ respectively — had air worse than the biggest Chinese cities.

The WHO guideline for annual mean levels for PM10 is 20 µg/m³ and for PM2.5 is 10 µg/m³. For 24 hours, the levels should not exceed 50 µg/m³ (for PM10) and 25 µg/m³ (for PM2.5). The WHO sourced its data on India’s air pollution from the Central Pollution Control Board, Environmental Data Bank.

PM10, or coarse particulate matter with diameter between 2.5 and 10 micrometers, are primarily made up of dirt and dust from farming, factories and roads, and caused due to the crushing of rocks and soil.

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Most air-pollution deaths are caused by fine, invisible particles, called PM2.5, about 30 times finer than a human hair. These pollutants, if inhaled deep into the lungs, can cause heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and respiratory diseases, and are known to pose the greatest risk to human beings. Their measurement is considered to be the best indicator of the level of health risks from air pollution, according to the WHO.

Gwalior, Allahabad report worst levels in India

Within India, the smaller cities of Gwalior and Allahabad measured the worst levels of ambient air pollution at PM2.5 levels of 176 µg/m³ and 170 µg/m³ respectively. A significant portion of northern India falls in a zone with “critical” air pollution-reporting PM2.5 levels of over 70 µg/m³ in the WHO’s mapping of air pollution and population.

The WHO’s new air-quality model, it’s most comprehensive yet, is based on information from satellite measurements, air-transport models and ground-station monitors for more than 3,000 urban and rural areas across the world. It analyses this with population data in a grid pattern area of 10 sq km. It was developed by the WHO in collaboration with the University of Bath and confirms that 92 per cent of the world’s population lives in places where air quality levels exceed WHO limits.

11,297 persons per sq km in Delhi at risk

Up to 97.5 per cent of Delhi’s 16.8 million people live in urban areas, and the city has a density of 11,297 persons per sq km-making it one of the densest regions in the country — according to Census 2011 data.

“Air pollution continues take a toll on the health of the most vulnerable populations – women, children and the older adults,” said Dr Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director General at the WHO.

Some three million deaths every year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution, according to the WHO. Nearly 90 per cent of air-pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, with nearly two out of three occurring in WHO’s Southeast Asia region (of which India is a part) and the Western Pacific region.

Inefficient modes of transport, household fuel and waste burning, coal-fired power plants, and industrial activities are the major sources of air pollution, WHO said. (IANS)

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Integrate National Plans to Eliminate TB by 2030: WHO

The WHO South East Asia Region includes India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste

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India TB Outreach Work
A TB patient hopeful of being cured in India. Wikimedia

New Delhi, Sep 11, 2017: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has told the South East Asian countries to integrate their national plans and mobilise and utilise resources efficiently to reach the Tuberculosis elimination target of 2030, a statement said on Sunday.

The WHO South East Asia Region includes India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

Also Read: Malnutrition makes children susceptible to Tuberculosis: Experts 

The global health body said that there is a need for countries to identify the package of interventions best suited to their challenges — whether that means focusing on strengthening TB services, accelerating case detection or investing in research and development.

“All countries face unique challenges, meaning they should each adapt the regional and global strategies to their context,” said a statement issued by the WHO’s South East Asia Region Office.

“We must avoid taking one-size-fits-all approach, and must instead seek out and embrace tailored solutions that meet specific needs and challenges.”

The five-day 70th Regional Committee Session of WHO South East Asia Region concluded in Male on Sunday.

According to the global health body, by planning effectively and making smart, high-impact interventions, countries across the Southeast Asia Region can lift TB’s significant burden and end the disease as a public health threat once and for all.

Although the region accounts for approximately one quarter of the world’s population, it has nearly half the number of new TB cases and close to 40 per cent of TB deaths globally.

In recognition of TB’s outsized burden, accelerating progress towards the 2030 target — which requires a 90 per cent reduction in TB deaths and 80 per cent decrease in TB incidence — is now one of WHO South-East Asia Region’s flagship priority areas of work. (IANS)

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6 Reasons Why Green Tea Should Be a Part of Your Everyday Life:What Makes It So Healthy?

You must have been advised to quit eating fast food, and soda beverages. Here we provide you with reasons that will convince you to switch from high caffeinated beverages to green tea for a healthier lifestyle!

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Green tea is the second most consumed beverage.
Green tea is believed to have therapeutic intervention to cure a variety of diseases. Pixabay
  • Green tea is a healthier option in comparison to fizzy and caffeinated drinks
  • Green Tea is known to relieve stress and solve several health problems
  • Researchers claim it can help alleviate insulin resistance, cognitive impairment, and fight allergies 

New Delhi, August 30, 2017: Coffee and black tea have long featured as preferred beverage options for a lot of people. However, rising awareness about the need to improve lifestyles has led to increased consumption of healthier alternatives such as green tea. The antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties of green tea address several health issues – ranging from bad breath to blood pressure. There are many health & skin benefits of green tea, let’s tal about it.

In fact, given our sedentary lifestyle and increased intake of fast foods, green tea is today more important than ever. A recent study published online in The FASEB Journal suggests that green tea could help alleviate insulin resistance and cognitive impairment induced by high-fat and high-fructose diets. Some studies also suggest that it can help fight off allergies.

Here are some additional benefits of green tea:

  • Curbs cholesterol: A high level of cholesterol in the body can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Green tea contains catechins that are known to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the body which causes plaque in the arteries, leading to a blockage. This is one of the best benefits of green tea
  • Promotes healthier skin: Green tea is known for its rich content of antioxidants and anti-aging elements. These can help delay signs of skin aging such as fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage. Regular consumption of green tea flushes out unwanted toxins from the body, thereby helping you have healthy skin. one of the skin benefits of green tea.
  • Relieves physical and mental fatigue: According to estimates by the World Health Organisation (WHO), over 450 million people suffer from stress worldwide. Green tea contains polyphenols that help reduce stress, boost energy and improve mental focus. The various antioxidants that are present in green tea also have a calming effect on the mind and body, which helps in creating a positive mood.
  • Builds immunity: Green tea contains compounds such as polyphenol and flavonoids which boost your immune system. These phytoconstituents act as antimicrobial agents, thereby helping the body fight against infection as well. Moreover, the antioxidants in green tea strengthen and protect the immune system against compounds known as free radicals, which are known to harm living cells and tissues.

ALSO READ: Now You can Fight Memory Loss With Green Tea, Says New Research

  • Helps in removal of phlegm: Green tea contains polyphenols which have potent anti-bacterial properties that fight against infections and reduce the formation of phlegm. For best results, prepare some green tea and add a little honey to it before drinking it.
  • Helps detox your body: Detoxing one’s body helps improve metabolism. Green tea refreshes, hydrates and cleanses the body of unhealthy toxins. The catechins in green tea improve the fat metabolism and reduce toxic effects on the liver. It reduces pressure on the liver, which is the body’s major detoxing organ. Moreover, it also detoxifies and purifies the whole body because of its rich antioxidant properties.

So now that you are aware of the all vital benefits of green tea, it is time to switch from high caffeinated beverages to green tea for a healthier lifestyle. (IANS)

A Must Read Article: Skin Benefits Of Coconut Oil

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After Three Years Struggle, WHO Declares Somalia Polio Free

The declaration by WHO keeps Somalia outside the last group of countries which still record cases of polio in the world

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Somalia
A Somali boy receives a polio vaccination at the Tunisian hospital in Mogadishu. The hospital treats local diseases, malnutrition, and other injuries.

Mogadishu, Aug 14, 2015: The UN World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Somalia country polio free on Sunday saying it had not registered any case of polio disease in the last three years.

According to WHO, the country recorded the last case of polio in 2014 in the central part of the country and has remained free from the paralyzing disease ever since. However, the UN health agency warned Somalia calling for the sustained vaccination campaign, as reported by Xinhua.

ALSO READ: In Somalia, Rape is a Common Sight: Labeled as Worst Country for Women 

The head of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean, which covers Somalia, Mohamed Fiqi said: Massive vaccination campaigns and commitment from government and international actors had ensured the polio virus did not recur in the Horn of Africa country.

“As the world edges closer to eradicating polio, keeping alert in countries that have a high risk of polio importation like Somalia is more of a priority than ever,” Fiqi said.

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He added, “As we move forward, the polio program in Somalia needs to continue to work to maintain and improve the level of population immunity against polio through target vaccination campaign and strengthening of the routine immunization services and infrastructure.”

The WHO chief warned Somalia remains at risk of importation of the virus from countries- “Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan”, where polio is still being recorded, mentioned Hans India.

Somalia
Faduma Hussein Yagoub, a polio sufferer, came with her family to Dadaab from Somalia. Her husband and two of her five young children died of hunger on the way. Despite the dangers thousands of refugees every week are making the journey, walking for weeks across the desert and braving attacks by armed robbers and wild animals. Wikimedia Commons

Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo appreciated efforts to rid his country of the polio disease which he noted had afflicted many children.

“No cases were found for the past three years and no child was affected by this disease. Many of our children have suffered from polio for many years.

“To eradicate polio was a big success and it was collective effort and commitment by many young men and women who sacrificed their lives,” Farmaajo noted.

The polio-free celebration appears amid the worst outbreak of measles Somalia has seen in years.

Commenced in January 2017,  the country is also still responding to an outbreak of acute watery diarrhea/cholera.

Polio systems and networks are being used in both interventions.


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