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People in Delhi May Live For 3 More Years By Reducing Pollution: Study

the AQLI is rooted in recent research that quantifies the causal relationship between long-term human exposure to air pollution and life expectancy.

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India, air pollution
An Indian Air Force soldier drinks tea as he stands guard next to rifles during a break at the rehearsal for the Republic Day parade on a cold winter morning in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018. VOA

If India reduces particulate pollution by 25 per cent in five years, residents breathing the most polluted air in New Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh could live almost three years longer, a study said on Tuesday.

The study titled “The Potential Benefits of India’s ‘War Against Pollution’ — Longer Lives”, was conducted by the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI), which translates particulate air pollution into its impact on life expectancy.

“The payoffs from the successful implementation of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) could be substantial with people in the most polluted areas like Delhi living almost three years longer,” Michael Greenstone, who created the index along with his colleagues at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), said.

Smog, delhi
A man rides a motorcycle on a morning thick with smog on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Jan. 5, 2019. A Sunday morning rain improved the air quality to “very poor.” VOA

“For this reason, NCAP has the potential to become a historic and watershed moment in Indian environmental policy.”

The AQLI study revealed that if India reduced particulate pollution by 25 per cent, people in Kanpur would also live 2.4 years longer and, in Kolkata for 1.1 years more.

On January 10, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan launched the NCAP which aims to reduce particulate pollution by 20-30 per cent by 2024.

It began immediately through a combination of 102 city-specific pollution reduction plans and national initiatives.

Delhi, air pollution, cold, smog
People take early morning walk amid smog in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018. In the Indian capital, the air quality hovered between severe and very poor this week posing a serious health hazard for millions of people. VOA

The residents living in the 102 cities singled out by the NCAP for having higher pollution levels than the national average would add 1.4 years to their lives, the study said.

Developed by the University of Chicago’s Milton Friedman Professor in Economics Michael Greenstone and his team at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, the AQLI is rooted in recent research that quantifies the causal relationship between long-term human exposure to air pollution and life expectancy.

Also Read: CSE Study to Identify Sources of Pollution in Real-Time

The index then combines this research with hyper-localized, global particulate measurements, yielding unprecedented insight into the true cost of particulate pollution in communities around the world. (IANS)

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Researchers Develop New Framework To Select Best Trees For Fighting Air Pollution

Air pollution is responsible for one in every nine deaths each year and this could be intensified by projected population growth

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Trees
In a study, published in the journal Climate and Atmospheric Science, researchers from the University of Surrey conducted a wide-ranging literature review of research on the effects of green infrastructure (trees and hedges) on air pollution. Pixabay

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have developed a new framework for selecting the best trees for fighting air pollution that originates from our roads.

In a study, published in the journal Climate and Atmospheric Science, researchers from the University of Surrey conducted a wide-ranging literature review of research on the effects of green infrastructure (trees and hedges) on air pollution.

“We are all waking up to the fact that air pollution and its impact on human health and the health of our planet is the defining issue of our time,” said study researcher Prashant Kumar, Professor at the University of Surrey in the UK. “Air pollution is responsible for one in every nine deaths each year and this could be intensified by projected population growth,” Kumar added.

The review found that there is ample evidence of green infrastructure’s ability to divert and dilute pollutant plumes or reduce outdoor concentrations of pollutants by direct capture, where some pollutants are deposited on plant surfaces.

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As part of their critical review, the researchers identified a gap in information to help people – including urban planners, landscape architects and garden designers – make informed decisions on which species of vegetation to use and, crucially, what factors to consider when designing a green barrier. To address this knowledge gap, they identified 12 influential traits for 61 tree species that make them potentially effective barriers against pollution.

Beneficial plant properties include small leaf size, high foliage density, long in-leaf periods (e.g. evergreen or semi-evergreen), and micro-characteristics such as leaf hairiness. Generally detrimental aspects of plants for air quality include wind pollination and biogenic volatile organic compound emissions.

Air Pollution, Global Warming, Mask, Doctor, Protection
Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have developed a new framework for selecting the best trees for fighting air pollution that originates from our roads. Pixabay

In the study, the team emphasised that the effectiveness of a plant is determined by its environmental context – whether, for example, it will be used in a deep (typical of a city commercial centre) or shallow (typical of a residential road) street canyon or in an open road environment.

To help concerned citizens with complex decisions, such as which tree is best for a road outside a school in a medium-sized street canyon, the research team has also developed a plant selection framework. “The use of green infrastructure as physical barriers between ourselves and pollutants originating from our roads is one promising way we can protect ourselves from the devastating impact of air pollution,” Kumar said.

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“We hope that our detailed guide to vegetation species selection and our contextual advice on how to plant and use green infrastructure is helpful to everyone looking to explore this option for combatting pollution,” he added. (IANS)